A papercut of a Chinese symbol in yellow. On closer inspection of the symbol you can make out company logos.

Chen Hangfeng, Lu, 2013. Papercut. Courtesy of the artist. © Chen Hangfeng.

Chen Hangfeng, Fu Lu Shou

Year: 2014
Medium: Paper cuts, framed
Dimensions: 42.4 x 42.4cm framed
Brief biography: b. 1974, Shanghai, China. Lives and works in Beijing


This work was acquired into the University of Salford Art Collection through a fund collected by the Salford Business School, to honour the retirement Patrick Trodden after 35 years as lecturer. 

 Trained as a painter, Chen’s practice has included drawing, painting and paper-cut alongside video, photography and installation. His works deal with issues of commercialization, globalization, environmentalism and changing cultural values. 

Fu Lu Shou comprises three orange paper-cuts, each presenting a different Chinese character. Collectively, the characters stand for the Three Stars of Fu (Luck), Lu (Prosperity), and Shou (Longevity), in traditional Chinese culture. Papercutting has a long history in China, and has traditionally been a vernacular art form, often used decorate the home, and with particular patterns used for weddings and other special occasions. Although declining in popularity, Chen sought to utilize the practice of papercutting in his own practice in a way that reflected and commented upon contemporary society. Within the borders of these characters are the linear forms of global brand names and logos, including Gucci, Holiday Inn, Prada, Cartier and Coca-Cola. Including these symbols of global consumerism within the confines of vernacular Chinese visual culture, Chen considers the intersection of these two cultural systems and wonders whether they are mutually exclusive, or whether they might co-exist?  

 The three characters stand for Three Stars in the traditional Chinese culture, which are the personified ideas of Prosperity, Status and Longevity. The pattern has been replaced with brand logos and icons, which are reflecting the values and visions are subtly changed in the modern day Chinese society… Chen Hangfeng. 

Solo exhibitions have included: All that glitters must be gold, CFCCA, Manchester, (2013); The Asian Carp – Chen Hangfeng solo project, AM Art Space, Shanghai (2015); Endless Demand, Cable Gallery, Helsinki (2013). 

 

Artist’s website: http://www.chenhangfeng.com