Zeng Fanzhi’s exploration in sculpture began in 2008. In spite of the echo in theme often found between his sculptures and oil paintings, Zeng has managed to present variation on the same theme by giving full play to the medium of sculpture according to its material characteristics, texture, mass and extensity. Untitled, which has a relatively unprecedented and independent theme, imitates the shape of a plum tree branch standing in cold wintry snow. The line of the sculpture twists and turns with steep interruption and undulation as it stretches diagonally from right to left, exerting a breathtaking visual appeal and strength to the audience’s eyes. It is easily associated with the momentum exhibited by various types of stroke in Chinese characters and calligraphy, as well as the distinctive painting technique which Ma Yuan (ca. 1190-1224), a renowned Chinese painter in the Southern Song Dynasty, employed in his famous “towed-broken branches”. This individualized form of line is radiating with vigorous vitality and affection of its creator, as if it is sketched in the air with freehand.
“To convey my response towards a topic, a form or a sentiment with only line, colour and shape is the major experience of mine in creation at that time.” (Zeng Fanzhi)