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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Chen Hangfeng’s Logomania

Logomania No.1, Chen Hangfeng

Logomania No.1, Chen Hangfeng


Far away from the big names and backbiting of Beijing’s art world I found local Shanghai artist Chen Hangfeng. He works out of a modest, sunlit studio in a complex on Weihai Road. It’s a residential area that has become home to a handful of studios over the last few years, some of which were relocated from the commercial art zone, M50, on Moganshan road, where an increasing number of galleries, trendy stores and coffee shops have been steadily pushing up rental prices.
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