The exhibition Physical Painting at Magda Danysz gallery reunites Wu Jianjun and Gong Chenyu, two Chinese painters of two different generations ? the first was born in 1966 and the second in 1988. At first sight they have nothing in common, no similar art movement nor influences. However, when looking attentively at their work, one can see one similarity : a combinaison of pictoral techniques giving a very unique representation of faces and bodies, as hazy and frozen in time. It is also the passion for paiting that reunites them. This exhibition is the concrete expression in mainland China of a unique art movement, renewing the use of oil painting.
Wu Jianjun does not try to represent the body in a realistic way : there is no skin in Wu Jianjun?s bodies, but only the tensions of the flesh. Forces inhabit the body and the colours operate as a thermal camera highlighting the tension of his fire like figures. Wu Jianjun art is never illustrative or narrative. It requires no interpretation, no understanding. Wu Jianjun?s works are meant to be felt, they don?t appeal to our intellect, but to our animality. Sometimes disturbing, they carry an undoubtable truth, there is nothing to hide, no magnified beauty to seek, just the plain truth human existence as it is with its hardship but also its grace. Wu Jianjun is painting what does not change, what has always been on and what will always be there as long as human will exist.
In his work, Gong Chenyu creates multifaceted environments, both rough and phantasmagoric, using natural brown and grey tones that reveal strains and contrasts within the composition. With a heightened realism, Gong Chenyu portrayes a variety of subjects from human figure to the animal world or the everyday objects ? all of them coming to life under his brush. They are staged with a variety of details offering multiple meanings. Gong Chenyu uses allegories as a food for thoughts on human nature and stretches our imagination. His unique use of thick layers of paint is not weighting down his artworks, it allows whoever is looking to highlight some form of thruth.