The highly anticipated exhibition Zeng Fanzhi: Old and New (Paintings 1988-2023) officially opens to the public at Museum of Art Pudong (MAP) on September 27, 2023. This marks the fourth major solo exhibition hosted by MAP; it is also the Museum's first exhibition project dedicated to contemporary oil paintings since its grand opening in 2021.
Zeng Fanzhi: Old and New is curated within the remarkable and unique architectural space of the Museum. It takes full account of the fascinating interactive effects that emerge when the audience engages with the medium of painting. Through extensive testing of the relationship between the exhibition space and the artworks, over 60 pieces of the artist's most iconic works created in the past 35 years have been thoughtfully chosen. These works are grouped into four interrelated yet distinctive sections, namely: The Early Years, Different Paths, Painting as Contemplation, and finally, Monumentals. They strive to offer the audience four unique viewing experiences.
The exhibition brings together Zeng Fanzhi's early works, notably the Mask series of the 1990s, the Abstract Landscape series of the 2000s, as well his continuous practices of still life and portrait which span his entire artistic career. From these works, we are able to observe his long-standing reflections and experiments in every aspect of painting, including subject matter, composition, brushstrokes, and colour composition. In addition, we can catch a glimpse of his personal interests and perspectives of observation. Of particular note is the global premiere of Zeng Fanzhi's new series, Sparkling Paintings, which Zeng has been working on since 2019. These works are on public display for the first at MAP. The debut of the series signifies another brand-new chapter in Zeng Fanzhi's artistic journey.
Furthermore, when setting up the exhibition, Zeng Fanzhi created a painting on-site. Both this work and the carefully preserved traces of Zeng's creative process are presented to the audience in the exhibition. The exhibition also features video and sound experiments carried out by Zeng Fanzhi's friend and celebrated film director Er Cheng and his team. They are inspired by the viewing experiences of the exhibited paintings.
Zeng Fanzhi: Old and New is produced by Shanghai Lujiazui (Group) Co., Ltd., organized by MAP, and co-presented by MAP and ZFZ Studio. It is curated by Fabrice Hergott, Director of Musée d'Art Moderne de Paris, with Jing Jin as the executive curator and Joseph Desjardin as the chief exhibition designer.