Famous for his Red Men Series, Shi Lifeng’s bold use of red men against greyed-out political images tells powerful stories of present struggles in China by representing the paradox between pain and happiness in life.
Proclaimed by Art Futures Group to have ‘high investment potential’, Shi Li Feng’s Red Men series of oil paintings are filled with little red figures silently climbing and desperately searching for hope, unaware of the danger around them. From afar, they give off power and hope, and then from up close, the efforts translate into perceivable struggles. Each piece is a thought-provoking message which allows the audience to question “where do the little men come from?” and “where are they heading?” The series has been interpreted as a rigorous investigation into the possibilities of painting whilst exploring the powerlessness of those living on the edge of society. The struggling red figures contrast black or vivid blue backgrounds, allowing their struggle to almost bounce off the canvas as well as exist within it. The figures appear almost artificial like plastic figurines, an effect that could only be achieved through the greatest patience and dexterity on Shi’s part.
Born 1968 in Hebei, Shi Lifeng studied at the the Hebei Normal University. Shi’s paintings display an evolution from the Socialist Realism of the 1980s to the starting points of Expressive Individualism in Chinese contemporary art. Exploring the colonialist characteristics of society, Shi focus on the groping for and excavation of the world of individual inner feeling; his attitude toward life is also gradually evolved from a collective group consciousness into a self-centred creative conception of identity. In one sense we can proceed from external signs and totems to decode his works, yet even more important is the process of aphorising his inner psychological world, a process to which he alludes to interpersonal interactivity through the creation of multiple identical identities.
The exhibition will run for a month from 4th February to 3rd March 2014 at Art Futures Group Gallery at ArtOne in Wan Chai, where about 30 spectacular art pieces by Shi Lifeng will be displayed.
4th February – 3rd March 2014
Art Futures Group Gallery at ArtOne – Shop 13, M Floor, Convention Plaza, 1 Harbour Road, Wanchai, Hong Kong