(Looking for) One's own reason – Pu Jie's art forms
by Gu Cheng Feng
Translated by Machine
To ripen as artist, it is not essential to look for the reason why a personal language exists in art-work. As to artists engaging in different styles and materials, the inner link as art is more essential, rather than thinking an artist should keep to one style. Standing in front of Pu Jie's works, we seem to face a difficult problem, specifically - how the visual-plane works. As he employs many ready-made ideas and materials, which he somehow unifies, his work creates visual questions. On the surface, look at the tactics that Pu Jie adopts – In his paintings, at the statue of Buddha in the west of China, with the red guards of the period, mingled with free contemporary fashionable young men, all combined on one visual plane. These combinations cause a kind of latent tension. He is harvesting our familiar modern language – combining the sketched contour lines of Chinese painting with the heavy heads of posters from the Cultural revolution, scenes and figures Chinese people are familiar with. Equally Pujie is deeply in love with the material of wood: he often uses the night stools bathtubs and other pieces that have a special meaning for the Shanghai people. In his spacious cityscapes, created out of wood, each skyscraper is an individualized little space, crowded into a small area, giving you a feeling the artist somehow disapproves of them.
What interconnected system brings together these seemingly very different works? In a constructed work, I seem to find some clues, "large building site" is the name of the work, for an exhibition in 2002, the work is still the high buildings composed of piled up wood in uniform districts, this time spread out openly across a flat surface. But the adjacent pile of broken bricks reveal the author has added to his original idea, The discarded broken bricks are already corroded, that seems to represent the modernized city. On occasions outdoors, Pu Jie piles up and lays wooden cities under the natural environment, allowing them to be lost to nature gradually. This work was a part of the "Basking in the sunshine" art activity carried out recently in the Nanjing countryside this spring. The purpose of his works has gradually become clearer—he praises the modernized city he and other people enjoy, but he also wishes to impede it for the thing that it is, as an the artist. I wonder that the reason for this is due to his experience of working in Ningxia, in China's Northwest, many years ago. Though he wasn't born there, this experience is obviously the background implied in his works today, in their impression and creation.
What is the city ? High buildings jostling each other in a crowd here look like children's toys in a big sandbox. If you can face it and hesitantly move forward you overlook it as a God. What is fashionable? If you go back to far, you can see that your forerunners wore green military uniforms and red armbands. Can today's individual's in our dissipated and luxurious cities prevent and warn as of this, it seems that people have disappeared to some extent? Following the inflation of the material space and compression of the spiritual space in the city, who does not realize the standardization of consumption and contact among people have taken on their most practical. From .Procedure-ization is what society associate's with, society exists by popularization - that everybody gets what they want often enough.
The city in contemporary art means that artists create art characteristically formed on the basis of expressing experiences of the city. It is can only be from the perspective of today that the link between cities and modernity can be understood together, similarly looking from such an angle at two of Pu Jie's works that greatly differ from each other we will comprehend some things about the work.
But everybody has something in common is obvious after realizing it, but the artist's responsibility is to find out one's own unique and different impression to the ordinary person. The artist looks for one's own language of expression method and view. Pu Jie has already come out of that. The personal quality and modernity of his work's language is indubitable.