With subjects ranging from portraits and rural landscapes to specific political issues, Zeng Fanzhi adds the common idea of shared experience to an atmosphere of disobedience, clearly exposing a point of view where Chinese culture is in flux and personal identity is challenged. Zeng’s paintings are known for their emotional honesty and a conscious, careful technical application. His work illuminates the human struggles during social unrest and aims to find optimistic, yet ironic answers to the combination of cultural heroes in an unpredictable society. Influenced by German expressionism, Zeng’s figures often have exaggerated features with confident brushstrokes. While traditional Chinese art and calligraphy are recent influences, Zeng’s landscapes show the disconnect between true individualism and the reality of one’s situation.
Born in China in 1964, Zeng has exhibited work all over the globe in museums and galleries such as the Shanghai Art Museum, National Art Museum of China, Kunst Museum Bonn, Kunstmuseum Bern, Santa Monica Art Centre, Art Centre, and Le Musée d’Art moderne de la Ville de Paris. The artist lives and works in Beijing.