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Chen-En Wang Solo Exhibition
Date:2017-05-04
自畫像
無憂花蔓夫人
Exhibition Dates: May 5 – June 4, 2017
Exhibition venue: Second Floor Gallery

Oil paintist Chen-En Wang has been using dogs in his work for over 20 years. Wang’s subsequent positioning of “dogs” as a major theme in his work and as a source of inspiration can be seen as the product of various influences. Firstly, there is his unique experience of having been involved in breeding dogs from his teenage years. Having spent so much time looking after dogs, he had been able to observe their behavior in minute details, giving him an in-depth understanding of dogs’ habits, physical appearance and emotions. Based on the foundation that this personal experience provided him with, he was able to link his experience with his perception of the physical world, which in turn provides the fundamental framework for the artistic work that he creates today.

Chen-En Wang’s various series of paintings derive from two main thematic traditions: landscape painting and portrait painting. In many branches of the landscape painting tradition, human figures are of secondary importance. Conversely, in traditional portrait painting, the landscape serves largely as a backdrop. What makes Chen-En Wang’s series of paintings so special is that, while they do contain landscapes, they are more than just landscape paintings. In Wang’s portrait-landscape artworks, the portrait is also a kind of landscape. Chen-En Wang demonstrates a broad perspective that embraces the original vision of the soul; in his surreal, alien landscapes and his use of compositional methods that combine the spiritual with the void, he succeeds in breaking free from the precise delineation of positioning and from the constraints of conventional spatial and temporal logic, realizing a possible transfer to depict an entrance into a mental state in which thoughts can take physical form, and attempting to create a whole new kind of artistic vision.

In Chen-En Wang’s paintings, it is without question that dogs are the chief protagonists. Of course, it may well be that he is also attempting to explain the clear boundary between artistic ideas of beauty in the pure sense and dog-centric artistic imitation; nevertheless, the images of dogs constitute more than just a medium. They also represent an interpretation, projection or reflection of the human soul. “The Principles of Dog” are the interface through which Chen-En Wang experiences art, while at the same time constituting a philosophical and aesthetic argument. And this proposition underpins Wang’s artistic philosophy. Through his application of the methods of personification and mimicry to dogs, Chen-En Wang is able to realize an in-depth analysis of human nature, and is able to depict interpersonal relations, friendship, the expectations people have of themselves, and the thinking that underpins the phenomenon of mimicry in human society.