We met Huang Chenglin in one of the main art spaces of Shanghai, called M50. Chenglin has there his own gallery, in which he exhibits his works of art as well as those of other artists.
Born in Fujian Province, he grew up in the middle of the countryside and bathed in an artistic environment since his mother was a sculptor.
When he was 17 years old, he decided to start painting. He never even took any art course in university and he therefore found and developed his own style as a self-taught artist. He settled in Shanghai in 2000, where he has been developing his art and his talent up to now.
In his paintings, some faceless figures can be seen through their life. Coming from the imagination of Huang Chenglin, they sometimes perform typical scenes of the countryside life, working in the field or in the farm. These representations are old memories of his childhood, when he was observing the peaceful agitation of the country.
The soft curves of his figures touch the spectator and the absence of face questions him. Without any face, it becomes impossible to guess or capture the emotions of the characters. Is it joy, pain or frustration? The artist lets the observer fill these empty faces with the emotion he feels.
All his paintings are realized with oil painting and knife. The knife allows him to add roughness, which reminds also the roughness of the countryside life.
In some other paintings, the thematic of the individuality in front of the collectivity is addressed. In a country of more than one billion on inhabitants, how can you distinguish yourself when you are lost in the middle of the crowd ? How to express your need to be different ?
Painting is his way to extract himself from the crowd.
Huang Chenglin also develops his work through resin or porcelain sculptures. His baby characters are quirky and remind the ones of Yue Minjun.
Huang Chenglin already realized several exhibitions in China and abroad. He was invited to the Berlin Biennial in 2006.