Contemporary by Angela Li presents “__” – young Chinese artist Jiang Cheng’s first solo exhibition in Hong Kong. Jiang Cheng studied at the prestigious China Academy of Art, and obtained a Master of Fine Arts in the Chineisch-Deutsche Kunstakademie Department of Painting. As art critic and curator Feng Boyi observed, formal academic training affected his artistic creation deeply, such impact is evident on his artworks alongside with traces of Realism. The artist thinks boldly and freely when it comes to his creations, thus his works lay his inner world out plainly and directly.
Jiang Cheng is inspired by his childhood memories. Like many children, Jiang and his playmates came up with games that seem meaningless now. These games involved performing the same actions and moves repeatedly, which appear equally meaningless. Though these memories are trivial, scattered and almost unfathomable, they are rooted in Jiang Cheng’s mind, and have become the subject of his art today.
Jiang Cheng finds telling stories in a straightforward way boring and dated. Instead of telling his own stories, Jiang Cheng is evoking the memories of his audience by letting slip his own memories, inspiring his audience to fill his enigmatic artworks with their own stories, thoughts and imagination. Once his childhood memories made their way into the adult world, they become mysterious and even provoke anxiety. Jiang Cheng’s men look realistic, yet his settings do not. With eerie, untraceable light sources, it is as if the viewers have barged into a stranger’s dream. Looking at Jiang Cheng’s artworks is like playing a mind game with him, the only way to understand them is through one’s own imagination and interpretation.