February 24, 2007
Weng Fen is an artist from Hainan Island in China. Many of his projects—'Bird's Eye View', 'On the Wall', 'Staring at the Lake' and so on—feature figures, usually schoolkids, with their backs to the camera staring out over the landscape. To my eye they recall Casper David Friedrich's The Wanderer. It's compelling stuff especially when viewed in multiple. I'd love to see a exhibition of his one day. Anyone know if he's ever been shown in New York?
Weng Fen's personal website (with installation photos)
found via Moca Taipei
Update: Speaking of Freidrich, the Sunday Times today has a nice article on Justine Kurland who admired Friedrich so much that she named her son Casper. Her monumental landscapes with their tiny figures owe something to Friedrich but more to 17th and 18th century European painters who used their tiny naked figures to suggest something of the fecundity of unspoiled nature. I am most compelled by her work that keeps that distance using the smallness of the figures to emphasize the vast scale of the land. When she gets closer to her subjects and they are photographed from a few feet away all the uniqueness of the work falls away and they just become pretty nudes... well at least to my eyes. You can see examples of both types of kurland's images in her current show which runs through April.