His previous work has explored a narrative based on the phenomenon of an individual’s loss and anger in modern society. A ruminating melancholy centered around the absurdities of self-existence such as his solo exhibition in 2006 featuring the series ”Blissful Life’‘, a satirical regard directed towards the ideology of consumer socialism and its materialistic consequences; painless optimism within a joyous state unbound by past or future considerations. Chen Wenling (1969- )
In recent years, contemporary Chinese art has emerged from a domestic avant-garde movement into one of the fastest growing and most dynamic components of the international art scene. Representative of the current stage of contemporary Chinese art, Chen Wenling’s sculpture “Valiant Struggle,” is a critique of an increasingly capitalistic and consumerist Chinese society, but he tempers the charged aesthetic, with a dose of irony and humour, which augments the accessibility of his work in general.
”We are a society bound to its trinkets, and we judge each other by what we cannot afford; it’s a system of classification that’s fueled the banks for decades—a blood thirst that’s justified illegal wars abroad and catalyzed the dismantling of our social structure here at home. Simply put, if you don’t have matter, you don’t matter.” ( Christopher de la Torre )
Wenling’s work often shows the relationship between human and animal and their conjunction which manifests itself as the fetish of human desire. Which in turn, poses the question, what is desire and how did it arise?
For Wenling, his language of sculpture poetically expresses the view that human desire is no more than hedonistic benefit gained in possessing and exchanging.
”He conveyed the scorn and the criticism to irrational desire, peacockery, power and violence with cynical and black humor attitudes. Chen Wenling not only took realism to the sole created method, but mixed folk images, popular images and historical images at the base of realism, employing the fantastic, ironic and humorous black comedy in the manners of conciseness, rusticity, naivety and overstatement.”
In his latest work, Wenling portrays Madoff as Satan, horned and scaley; Madoff is in turn impaled and mortally gouged by the horns of a Wall Street Bull. This tango of convenience was bound to stop before the music finished, yet, Madoff was probably more defeated by the Bear; and subsequently devoured in a style and manner similar to that found in the outer reaches of the Grimm’s fairy tale canon. For investors in want of their lucre, the cheque indeed was in the male.