Deng Cheng Wen hails from a world of rapid change, an art world which he feels, is most important to “be yourself.” Yes, we are all too familiar with the names of modern greats being thrown about, Damien Hirst, Jeff Koons and more, who aren’t just artists, they are top-notch businessmen. Will money sustain an artistic journey? Not quite, says Deng, who feels that “the only way to sustain is to create your own trend” and that “it will not last long if the artist creates an artwork with the objective of making money.“
Ode to Art gallery is all about bringing global art to Singapore. This time, they are currently hosting rising China artist, Deng Cheng Weng. His exhibition, “The Lightness of Sightseeing“, is a commentary on Chinese youth of his generation, who are seemingly lost in a post-modern, post-globalised era.
Inspired by his life experiences and phenomena, he hopes to reflect the “lost mental state of Chinese youth” in his oeuvre. Part of this sense of being ‘lost‘, he feels, stems from the “limited opportunities and resources available for this generation (of Chinese youth) to explore after their study“. Deng observes that “with limited choices, their life can hardly be changed and they will just follow the path that has been set by society.“
Has everyone stopped thinking? Blindly following the footsteps of the previous generation who have carved a well-trodden path? Being an observer of his peers, Deng hopes “to raise this generation’s mental issues so that people can reflect on them,” and at the same time, draw us in to be emphatic about the plight of the Chinese youths, who are crippled by the modern culture and are struggling to find their own ways to broaden their horizons.
Don’t attend his exhibition expecting answers, though. As Deng aptly puts it, “Art cannot solve problems. But it can generate the awareness and provoke the audience to reflect, and dissect the problems facing this generation.” As with all other things, answers can only be found within oneself. Such is, the self-discovery of life.
Deng Cheng Wen’s The Lightness of Sightseeing
From August 21 to September 4 2014