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Zhang Fuming: Props and Poses
December 16, 2022 @ 12:00 pm - January 3, 2023 @ 7:00 pm
AC43 Gallery is pleased to present Singapore printmaker Zhang Fuming’s latest exhibition, Props and Poses. Through this new series of work, Fuming delves into an observational criticism of the ‘fake it till you make it’ phenomenon and the middle-class obsessional pursuit with materials and ranks within society. Featuring 12 medium- and large-format mixed media woodcuts and 8 small drawings completed in the recent period of 2020-2022, the showcase provides audience an insightful survey of Fuming’s endeavour beyond conventional modes and formats of printmaking.
Zhang Fuming (b. 1989, Singapore) obtained his diploma in Fine Arts (Printmaking) from LASALLE College of the Arts in 2011. He specialises in woodcut and has over the years developed a body of work that harnesses the direct, efficient means of black-white woodcut narratives to express critical social messages. His stark, expressive use of blacks and whites takes after the technique of German printmaker, Kathe Kollwitz, who relies on bold, economical usage of blacks and whites to dramatise scenes of vulnerability, toil and destitution.
Venturing beyond the conventional practice of carving lines, ridges and reliefs to create an original composition in negative, Fuming treats the woodblock with carving tools and paints as a painter would a canvas, unveiling a monochrome relief composition on its surface through strategically chiselled shapes, lines and textures. Rather than being prints off the woodcut, each composition is presented as-is on the wood plank – at one with the artist’s material and carving process, and organically characterised by rough edges, imperfections, grains and frays. The image on the wood plank, though spartan, emanates stillness with a tremble of movement. This is because the composition is completed through tension and contrast from the seemingly brutish determination of the artist to create the desired image against the woodgrain, allowing the struggles of the artist’s knife to show through in detail.