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Day and Night

3.12 - 4.30, 2016


Tang Contemporary Art Center is proudly presenting artist Chen Wenbo’s solo exhibition “Day and Night”at Gallery Beijing Space on March 12th. Dozens of latest paintings created by the artist are showcased at the exhibition, constructing a colorful psychedelic world.


Under the artificial high light, the fitness ball on hardwood floor, the toast-clashing wine glasses, the turquoise pool, the red curtain on the stage and the fake leather couches… are all to be illuminated. Occupying the entire screen, every detail of the objects and the scenes are magnifiedin a quasi-microscopic view and the colorsoccuralienation, all bright and mellow. Thereby a super-realistic world is born where familiar things in our daily life are abstracted into just pure visual object, and the audiences feel as if they are at an unknown and illusory scene.


“In fact, they are ‘crime scenes’ in which no crimes have ever been really committed...They reveal the truth without any factual truth.This is indeed a portrait of our own egos, mingling the Self and the ‘object-a’, excluded and erased from the conscious world of the ‘social reality’” (Hou Hanru)


Distinct from the artists in the same era, Chen’s work criticizes the social reality in a metaphor approach. By engaging himself into the microscopic observation and analysis of modern life, he shapes the city texture with human desires in the consumerism society through applicationand combination of the fragmentary images.Inthe paintings, the reality is deconstructedby artificial light, like "addict" fantasizes the "artificial paradise"after taking hallucinogenic drugs. With the vision sliding on the surface of the objects, night and day alternate;one scene transits to another. Chen Wenbo shares with the people the magnificence and corruption of life in this "Day and Night”, and to release the desire from the world of solitude and vertigo.


From Vitamin Z series in 1996, Chen Wenbo continued to explore painting for 20 years. There is a transition of the artist from the alien application of light via coloration to the exploration of color and light as tools of seeing the world. In his view, “thecity is our reality; I tend to present the reality with myown perspective and the poetic syntax. It will be recorded as an undercover report like an archive. If one day, when people begin to suspect the mainstream narrative, then these personal opinionswill bethe most important and one of the evidence as well."

Hou Hanru | Just drink it up!

For the last two decades, Chen Wenbo has been essentially working with painting. One can say, with more or less only one kind of painting: landscape of an “after-soft-drug” world. They appear to be banal at the first glance. But they become immediately intriguing when you look at them more closely. They are figurative, but without any human figures. They are no-man’s lands just left by by-passers, by intruders and longing to be re-occupied by other by-passers and intruders…

Robin Peckham | Last Night a DJ Saved My Life: Art and Everything Else

The art of a given era inevitably reflects the social and material conditions of its artists. Hopefully needless to say, our current moment is hardly marked by the extreme experimentation and renegade poverty of the artist villages of the early 1990s. We see a fair amount of art about athleisure and yoga mats these days. As a recent father myself, I spend a lot of time thinking about how artists’ practices have shifted with the introduction of children and family life into the equations of their studio time. Looking at Chen Wenbo’s work over the past year as a cohesive body—some two dozen paintings in a flat oil on canvas—it would appear to represent a rather holistic and comprehensive reflection of the urban milieu in which he thrives as an artist...

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Entrance, oil on canvas, 200 x 300 cm, 2015

Holiday, oil on canvas, 200 x 150 cm x 3, 2015

Love Seat No.2, oil on canvas, 150 x 200 cm, 2015

Ball 1, oil on canvas, 200 x 300 cm, 2015

Collector's Lamp, oil on canvas, 300 x 200 cm, 2015

Last Glass 1, oil on canvas, 200 x 300 cm, 2015

Traffic Reflection, oil on canvas, 130 x 90 cm x 2, 100 x 140 cm, 2015

Mass Seating, oil on canvas, 200 x 150 cm, 2015

Red Curtain, oil on canvas, 150 x 200cm, 2015

Green Water, oil on canvas, 150 x 200 cm, 2015

Corner, oil on canvas, 250 x 350 cm, 2015


Chen Wenbo


Born 1969

Chongqing, China


Throughout the 1990s, CHEN Wenbo became a key representative of the Sichuan painting school. Merging a vivid colour scheme with affinities to Chinese Kitsch Art with a post-pop cartoon inspired aesthetic, Chen created an aggressive urban sensual chic that influenced many new painters in the late 1990s and early 2000s. For the past ten years, CHEN has honed his observation on objects close to hand, stylizing and fragmenting daily life into separate canvases, the airbrush quality of his technique creating a surface sheen that comments on society’s attachment to material values.


Chen Wenbo (born in Chongqing, China and currently lives and works in Beijing) graduated from the Sichuan Academy of Fine Art in 1990. He recently had a major show at UCCA, Beijing and a solo show at the Shanghai Gallery of Art, Shanghai.  CHEN’s work has also been presented in important exhibitions worldwide, including All Under Heaven (Koninklijk Museum, Antwerp, Belgium, 2004); Follow Me (Mori Art Museum, Tokyo, Japan, 2005); the 2006 Shanghai Biennale (Shanghai, China, 2006); Moscow Biennale of Contemporary Art (Moscow, Russia, 2007); the Poland Biennale (Poland, 2008); Open ev + a 2008 (Limerick, Ireland, 2008); Metropolis Now-Chinese Contemporary Art Exhibition Election (Meridian International Center, Washington, USA, 2009).


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Catalogue: DAY AND NIGHT

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