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Feng Bin - Dancing Love and Lust

Exhibition Duration: 29 Sep - 12 Oct 2011
Opening Reception: 29 Sep 2011, 6 - 8:30pm

In this exhibition, renowned Chinese artist Feng Bin will present recent works from his acclaimed Dancing Series. Feng began painting dancers in 2006, after being inspired by the evening dances held in city squares across China. In Chinese society, physical contacts amid social interactions are often limited to handshakes and are far more reserved than cultures in the West, where hugging and kissing on the cheeks are largely-accepted social practices.  Although many forms of dancing, be it waltz, tango, or samba, can be seen as entertainments, social gatherings or even sports, they are still considered distinctively intimate from a psychological perspective for a conservative society, hence the implied sex metaphor is indisputable.

In Feng’s paintings, intimate moments of men and women engaging in different dance forms are captured by his depictions of shadowy figures against undefined backgrounds.  They invite viewers to mediate on the notation of “affection between strangers” and to consider the pleasures, anxieties, seductions, desires and other expectations that are associated with the act of dancing. Romantic but not romanticized, Feng’s couples speak to the appearance of lust and love, and the momentary reprieve from urban alienation. As Feng explains, “Men and women in cities dance to the melodies they make up for themselves under the filtering and glamorous light. They are so close to each other yet so detached. It is just a reflection of the drifting and illusory human souls in modern urban life.
When asked about his views on Feng Bin’s Dancing Series, Chinese artist Zhang Xiaogang remarked, “Over our lifetimes, we have witnessed China throw away so much of itself: both what needed to be discarded, but also what should have been treasured. The one thing that remains, however, is the red cap of Socialism. Above all, I admire the courage Feng has to break with tradition…Feng’s dancing couples reflect that interplay between the China he has lived in and the China he lives in now.”

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