Chen Fei’s Flesh and Me exhibition at Galerie Perrotin Hong Kong, after my last visit to the gallery weeks ago, turned out to be a positive surprise to me.
The exhibition showcases seven paintings recording the Chinese artist’s major transitions in life, including his first taste of independent living as an adult since his 30s.
The pieces aren’t easy to digest, though, as Chen tries to portray the vulgar and unrefined elements of his upbringing that are intended to stir emotions and sensations in one single plate, both inappropriate and squeamish yet also representing his exaggerated visualisation of his imagined world. It might be full of sex, desire and violence, but it can also be game-like and loveable.
There’s always a highlight point in his works that is worth a second visit from the viewer’s eyes. Step Father (2013) features a penis that is about to castrated in the form of a hotdog waiting to be cut and eaten. See for Yourself (2013) depicts a naked woman holding human parts in the middle of a forest looking clueless – as if she’s just being shamelessly curious. His works, despite the quirkiness, interestingly come with adorable backgrounds that would make you smile.
The contradiction of the anti-beauty elements (tattooed bodies, human parts) and the beautifully drawn exquisite details (star night, green grass) stimulate flows of intricate thoughts to the audience.
Chen’s paintings are done conscientiously as demonstrated from his Chinese traditional Gong-bi painting technique in his works. Every stroke is finished in exquisite details and high precision.
Chen’s works are bold, sharp and delicately painted with superb techniques, not the ones that are easily forgotten.
“Flesh and Me” Exhibition by Chen Fei
January 8 – March 15, 2014
Galerie Perrotin, Hong Kong
17/F, 50 Connaught Road, Central