Shi Jinsong delves into various creative fields such as sculpture and installation with undeniable force. He explores the traditions and myths of Chinese culture by engaging in an ever instructive dialogue with the contemporary period.
The work is varied and eclectic in terms of both subjects and production. What might seem as a series of analyses of society and the individual is ultimately a single truth for the artist. The living environment is turned into the setting for his works in which he will place man in the abyss, where man’s individuality risks being stifled by his surroundings.
An artist of daily life for some ten years, he speaks only of himself and what surrounds him, thereby showing an elevation of experience and man’s reactions to it, leading to purification of the work by abandoning everything superficial and letting only the elementary show through. Quatrain-Plum Blossom 2007.
The birth of his daughter in 1999 led Shi Jinsong to show in three dimensions the world in which he functioned henceforth. A critique of Chinese society that is gradually gaining access to all the external signs of comfort so dear to the middle classes in all continents ensued. Sweet Life, presented in 2003 at the Georges Pompidou Centre in the exhibition Alors la Chine? [And Chine then?] adopts the medium used to the artist’s aesthetic.
Today, the same preoccupation can be seen in works such as Take Off The Armor’s Mountain 2009. The raw material occupies such an important place in his work that the critical character is kept subtly at distance and therefore accessible in all the potential sophistication of reflection by the author and the viewer.
Since then, many fields have been explored reaching a paroxysm of the visual debacle to get back to the fundamentals that interest the author: man’s place, the power that man can have over his environment, but also the power to enslave himself.
With the experimentation of nothingness, Shi Jinsong restores man, as an object of the will keen to leave a trace, proof that all that had meaning. In this exhibition, the use of trees and garden elements is a confession of trust to the symbolic powers that pieces of lives can have, the abandonment of which will allow every expression of the poetics of destruction.
Hubei School of Fine Arts, sculpture and traditional arts (CN)