Zheng Chongbin
White Reflection, 2012

The polarized, diametrically opposed quality of the different political, cultural and artistic worlds that Zheng Chongbin has sought out experienced and considered analytically – in his birthplace Shanghai surrounded by classical Chinese painting and calligraphy and in San Francisco exploring the abstract Western art  – is reflected in his artwork in a very direct way. In formal terms, it is expressed through a duality of horizontal and vertical picture formats, of organic and geometrical forms, of open‑structured and monumentally solid picture surfaces. The color scheme acts out oppositions of black and white. In terms of materials, contrasts are provided by ink and acrylic paint. The artwork White Reflection, 2012 demonstrates the evolution of the artwork in terms of its materials, which is very important for Zheng. The artist works always (with music playing in the background) on extremely absorbent xuan paper, where the colored substances create waves and furrows in the paper; once the paper has dried, it can be reworked, or supplemented by the addition of further layers of paper. In a spectrum which ranges from the darkest black to silvery white tones – his artwork White Reflection could be said to represent, if one were to put it in musical terms, a ‘medium pitch’. As one sees its nuances of broken white, light gray shading, gray lines, darker depths, one feels as though one were listening to the bright, sonorous tone of a musical instrument.

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