Qin Feng is a leading international ink artist and one of the foremost representatives of China’s avant-garde movement. He studied mural painting at the Shandong University of Art and Design in the early 1980s. Qin founded the Museum of Contemporary Art in Beijing in 2007 and began teaching at the Central Academy of Fine Arts in the same year. In 2008, Qin became a research associate at the Fairbank Centre for Chinese Studies at Harvard University.

 

Qin Feng moved to Berlin in the 1990s and the exposure to Western art prompted him to re-examine his own work and heritage. Qin chose to focus on calligraphy and traditional ink painting, the quintessentially Chinese art forms, merging Chinese calligraphic techniques with gestures from Western expressionism. For Qin, calligraphy is a motif to engage in broader dialogues, allowing him to question the past and the present, the conflict and concession of civilization, human desire, and to search for self-expression. Qin adopts the traditional mediums of ink and paper, adding elements such as coffee and tea to transform his self-produced linen paper into a golden tone that gives the effect of visual depth and serves as a metaphor of the fusion of the East and West. The thin red lines of paint that encircle the powerful black brushstrokes are evoking arteries connecting the past and present, and representing the interconnectivity of different cultures.

 

Qin splits his works into Civilization Landscape and Desire Scenery series, which are conflict and concession between civilization and desire both existed in mankind. Civilization lost impetus without lust, and desire would corrupt if not be ushered by civilization. Qin’s works attempt to extend from plane to spacial and installation space, though not through stacking and adding, but through brushstrokes to form a powerful field that embraces the viewer. If we were to compare his work with music, his “scenery” is like a symphony that intertwines human emotions, desires, and self-control, or as the Zen Buddhism saying – “Accomplishing awakening by realizing the original nature and by pointing out the human mind directly.”