Feiyi Wen’s work attempts to cut through the visual language of the West—Blending the visual elements of traditional Chinese landscape painting, she constructs a distinctive world by methods such as making collages and overlaying images. The mountains, rivers, trees, rocks, land, and bonsai plants that appear in her images may look ordinary, but they achieve a completely new aesthetic state after her particular arrangement and combination. Such attempts are not uncommon in emerging visual artists in China, but Feiyi Wen’s work clearly stands out among them.
– Yanyou Yuan Di, Hariban Award Juror 2021
Using methods from comparative literature and including case studies from East Asian and European poetry, film and artistic practice, my pratice-based research looks at the tradition of the representation of ‘Landscape’ from Eastern and Western perspectives. The overarching methodology is that of translation between different languages and culture contexts, and the verbal and visual. My method towards working with photographic media emphasis on the exploration of different printing techniques, surfaces, process. These includes, photographic print with silver gelatin paper, photo-etching, risograph, etc. By incorporating found images in conjunction with my own photographic works, it embraces the notion of ambiguity, which precisely echoes the core of poetic practice. The re-evaluation of historical movement (such as pictorialism) also plays an important part in my work, which will be demonstrated by further experimenting with the materiality and tangibility of the photographic media with a contemporary understanding. My practice mostly evolves in a work-in-progress continuity, the work develops each time according to different purpose of the presentation. The second chapter of the work: Wood, Water, Rock is a continuing exploration of interpretations of landscapes from different cultural perspectives with an emphasis on the discussion around metaphor, symbols and juxtaposition of specific elements found within nature. I combine found image, objects, and my own photographic work. This looks into the concept of ‘landscape’ with a toolkit of references in the literature tradition. It concerns the nuances and differences on the representation and interpretation of landscape in a cross-cultural context. This different way of looking is based on the philosophical position of a non-Western view on the dichotomy of subject-object relation.
Feiyi Wen (b.1990) is a visual artist and researcher that lives and works in London, UK. She holds a Master degree in Photography from Royal College of Art and recently just received her practice-led PhD in Fine Art from the Slade School of Fine Art, UCL. Her main practice includes photographic prints, written texts, book-making, moving image, object casting, installations and sound recordings. She has exhibited her works globally at Tate Britain, Photo Shanghai, Beijing Photo Biennale, Photo London, Photo Oxford, Brighton Photo Fringe, the Aperture Gallery and many others.