Interview with Chen Hangfeng

Chen Hangfeng in his Weihai Lu studio photographed by Luise Guest

I recently wrote a post about Shanghai-based artist, Chen Hangfeng, and his Logomania series, which examines the pervasiveness of commercialism in Shanghai through traditional Chinese papercuts. This is an except from an interview I conducted with him in his studio, while researching my book on China’s contemporary art scene, Paint By Numbers.

Why did you decide to combine modern logos and traditional Chinese art forms?

Well, for this I have to go back to my background in design. And, also when I was a kid I made papercuts – I just loved that kind of stuff. And then [while dealing with designs every day in my work] I just suddenly had this idea I wanted to play around with it. In the beginning, those kind of pieces were actually just a graphic on the computer. But after I created the graphics I thought, well, it will be interesting to see them as papercuts – so that’s why I did it.

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Chinese at Groot Constantia

Groot Constantia
Groot Constantia Wine Estate is shrouded in mist as I drive towards its tasting room, the lush grounds glistening in the drizzle. A man in a red rain jacket strides toward the whitewashed building. “He jiu! He jiu!” – Let’s drink! – he calls behind him, enunciating the Mandarin tones. He is followed closely by fifteen bright-eyed Chinese tourists in an assortment of rainbow-coloured jackets. Heads swivelling left and right, taking in their surroundings, they head through a green Cape Dutch door. Continue reading