Zheng Jianhui is a young artist from Fujian Province, China. He has recently graduated from the Chinese National Academy of Fine Arts and is now working as a feelance artist. In several woodcut series the artist reflects the challenges that young people in China face in terms of reconciling the past with the present. By 2013, Zheng Jianhui has become one of the leading Chinese printmakers.
Jianhui participated in the 7th Contemporary Print Archive Exhibition, titled 'Power of Practice', which was shown from May 16, 2015 until August 16, 2015 at the Jin Lin Art Museum in Nanjing city, China.
Overall 36 important contemporary Chinese printmakers were show. Among them are names well-known to clients of artelino who bought contemporary Chinese prints during the early days of Chinese printnmaking and the representation by artelino. Some of you will remember names like Wang Huaxiang, Lu Zhiping, Dai Daquan, Liu Chunjie, Li Yanpeng, Yang Hongwei, Ying Jinfei, Song Guangzhi, Zhang Guanghui, Zhang Minjie, Fan Min, Zhou Jirong, Zheng Jianhui, Zhong Xi, Yuan Qinglu, Xu Baozhong, Tang Chenghua, Kang Jianfei.
More than a 100 prints were exhibited.
Mr.Zheng Jianhui was represented with 4 woodcut prints. Also 4 of the wooden boards used for the creation of these prints were part of the exhibition.
The woodblock works shown are:
Zheng Jianhui was born in 1983 in Putian city in Fujian Province. Even as a child he loved to draw. So naturally he chose to study art and in 2003 he began studying at the famous Chinese art academy, the Chinese National Academy of Fine Arts (CNAFA), under master painter and printmaker Zhang Minjie. The influence of Zhang Minjie can be clearly recognized in the early works of Zheng Jianhui - for instance the characters of flying and jumping people.
Zheng Jianhui finished his studies in 2007 and now lives in Hangzhou city as a professional artist. People of his generation face the challenge of reconciling the traditional past with the new quickly modernizing and economically expanding China.
A few years ago we produced this little video, presenting some of the artist's woodblock art works.
The Fashion Festival print by Zheng Jianhui was selected for the 3rd Chinese Essence Exhibition, organized by by artron.com at the Time Museum in Beijing, from August 25 until September 8, 2013.
The woodblock print Porcelain Conception No. 6 was shown in the exhibition titled Future Master Exhibition – Competition of Young Artists’ Artworks. The exhibition was organized by Artron.com and held at Yue-Art Gallery, Beijing 798 area, from August 10 until August 27, 2013.
Zheng Jianhui is a member of a younger generation of Chinese who have to reconcile the past under Mao and the cultural present with the China of today that is expanding economically very quickly, bringing not only wealth but changes in perspectives as well. This dynamic is reflected in Zheng Jianhui's series, "Village in the Past and Present." In his own words, the artist says:
"In this fast developping time, it is difficult for us to see this world with children's eyes. And maybe we have not the competence to judge this world because we are still so young. But we have the right to keep the impression that this period marked on us."
The world is quickly changing and going by, and it is difficult to just quickly adjust and accept. In the series, "Village in the Past and Present," one sees modern buildings, city landscapes in the backgrounds and modern technologies like buses or telephone booths. But the children in the series are dressed in traditional garb and they are riding bicyles, jumping, chasing each other, playing with rope - all old fashioned toys or traditional games.
Their faces, however, are deliberately hidden and gives the picture a toneless feeling. The artist does this deliberately to express his concern with the speed at which China is growing and changing.
In "Happiness in My Village," an extension to the "Village in the Past and Present" series, we have the same faceless traditionally clad children in the village. But there are a few subtle differences. First, there are animals in these pictures, some of them even fantastic - beautiful cranes larger than the children who fly the children through the air.
In this extension, the children themselves are clearly flying, whereas in the other they are just jumping (albeit also to fantastic heights). According to the artist, Zheng Jianhui, the difference is that "their attitude with life is changed."
There is a sense of optimism and potential that one feels when one sees flying children. Even the children on the ground have powerful stances, as if they too are about to lift into the air. Or they are proudly holding a giant tea cup high in the air. Indeed, the world is changing quickly bringing new technology but also new possibilities and as these pictures show. And it has empowered these people.
But note, it is not modernity that the artist emphasizes, rather the change in attitude or perspective. He, as well as other members of his generation, are searching among the new possibilities offered to them for their place in the universe, symbolically the village, the people and the animals.
Porcelain Conception - Zheng Jianhui's Woodcuts, Beijing, DEZI art gallery.
The oil painting "Wite Night" attended the Artworks Exhibition of Chinese Academy of Fine Arts and was awarded as outstanding artwork, Hangzhou, China.
The print "Waiting" was awarded with a second prize in the exhibition of CAFA named 'Go to the Countryside', Hangzhou, China.
The print "Inside - Outside" attended the portefolio "Translation" organized by Boston printmakers of United States."
The print "Trace" attended the Art Exhibition in Shaoxing city.
The print series "Village in Past and Present" attended the '2007 Today Art Student Annual Exhibition' in Beijing, and won the copper prize.
The print series "Village in Past and Present" attended the "Enjoy alone or enjoy with the others - researchful exhibition of CNAFA" in Tokyo, Japan.
The print series "Village in Past and Present" attended the "Graduates' Artwork Exhibition of 2007" of CNAFA, and won the highest prize.
The print "Village in Past and Present No.3" attended "Guanlan International Print Biennial" of 2007, Shenzhen city.
The print series "Village in Past and Present" attended the "88352" Seven New Artists Print Exhibition.
The artist was awarded as outstanding graduate by CAFA (Chinese Academy of Fine Arts).
The prints "Village in Past and Present" no.1 and no.8 attended the 2007 International Art Exhibition, Hangzhou, China.
The print series "Village in Past and Present" attended the first Venice Cyber Biennial Art Exhibition.
The print "Inside - Outside" and the "Village in Past and Present" series attended the opening ceremony of Hongmiao Shanghai Film Art Center, Shanghai, China.
The print series "Voice of Villagers" was sellected for the '2009 Annual Nomination Exhibition for the Young Artists' by Today's Art Museum, Beijing.
The print series "Modern Angels" (Five Continents, One Village) attended the Print Exhibition 'Trace 2009' in Wuhan city, Hubei province.
The woodcut "Porcelaine Conception No.6" attended the 4th International Young Artists' Selected Artworks Exhibition, Beijing.
The woodcut "Porcelaine Conception No.5" attended the 2011 Print Exhibition of Zhejiang province.
15th International Art Exhibition, International Trading Center, Beijing, China.
The 2nd International Culture Exhibition, New Agriculture Exhibition Center, Beijing, China.
Asia Contemporary Art Show, 2013 Spring (Hong Kong).
'Spring is Coming' - Group exhibition of young artists in Hangzhou, Sanshang Art Gallery, Hangzhou, China.
'World Towards the East' - The West Lake Design Art Show, Hangzhou, China-
'Utopia of Printmaking' - International printmaking touring exhibition, Taida Contemporary Art Museum, Tianjin, China.
'13 Artists' - Prints exhibition, Dezi Gallery, Beijing.
'Spring is Coming II' - Group exhibition of young artists in Hangzhou, Sanshang Art Gallery, Hangzhou, China.
'Power of Practice' - The 7th Contemporary Print Archive exhibition.
'Enjoy Alone or Enjoy with Others' - Researchful exhibition of CNAFA portefolio 'Translation', Collection of awarded '2007 Today Art Student Annual Exhibition', ISBN: 978-7-80671-808-7.
Author: Dieter Wanczura