Approaching Nihility

2017.06.10-2017.07.10 1F Powerlong Building, No.1399 Xinzhen Road


Present by: Wendy Hoi Pei Jinmei

Art Director :Gu Yuan

Curator: Zhang Fan

Project Manager: Lu Fangfei

Opening: 2017.6.10(sat) PM 17:00

Location: 1F Powerlong Building, No.1399 Xinzhen Road

Tel:      +86 21 52271999



Most of the time, the core of contemporary paintings is no longer the representational things, but those which have been painted by artists, pointing to the invisible artistic conception which artists want to express, among which what can attract us is often the spirit with the traces of time. Zheng Delong’s creations of recent years are always in such a way, from the initial theme of Vitality, to the latter one as Desire and Death, and to the current one as Approaching Nihility. Either in his early works of “dog heads” or in the latter series of “skulls”, dog heads and skulls are the clue throughout his respective works, but seldom can we see any narrativity or sensitive topics of society in his works. As he said in his statement, “my works don’t refer to any facts or values, but only to the self”, which is also maintained in his new works.

Approaching Nihility means the tiniest things which is approaching to nihility. In Surangama Sutra, volume six: “thou view the nature of the earth: rough is the earth, fine is the dust, and the tinier can be regarded as virtual dust.” Simply speaking, Approaching Nihility is infinitely close to nihility. In this series of his works, the use of color is complicated and playful, and the change of lines is extremely rich, creating a sense of dynamics. To me, some are like gorgeous ripples against glasses after raining, but in the frozen moment, as if pressed heavily by glasses, flow in all directions with some vertical down and some to the bright side; some water drops touch the ground and bounce up, the moment of which leaves the ground bottomless black holes. Other pictures are like some time slice interlaced by several things. All these dazzling but mediocre moments are framed not only by artists’ paintings but more by their gnosis, attracting viewers to be close to them as it is a rare chance. The viewers may not be satisfied, complaining about the limited picture and trying to sketch a more complete image in their mind. In Zheng’s opinion, every work is a small “mosaic” whose inner divinity cannot be described by language and with which artists get close to and gradually draw the general outline. Interestingly, in current ways of image technical processing, the mosaic has another function, that is disrupting detailed color blocks of a certain image with an usual purpose of making it unidentifiable. The moment when works are still in subtle existence is the one closest to the nature but also the most unidentifiable.

After the series of Death, Zheng no longer draws paintings with specific symbols. He believes that the description of intentions with no pre-conception, always vague and inductive, is a tentative translation from intention to voice and then to image. Of course, paintings presented before us are images refined by artists from the chaos state, fully displaying themselves in frames and emerging in all their splendor. These images carry the whole emotional intensity gathered in one moment, pushing viewers in a channel to infinitely approach the artistic conception of the other end. As Friedlander, a German art historian, said: “the common point of all the art activities with guided images is to make things appreciated by inner eyes be acceptable by physical eyes through this or that manual processing. What we see is a mixture, captured by sense organs and ordered by spirits.