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This is Weng Yunpeng’s exhibition, but I am also delighted to bring out a few of my own paintings as guests.

I met Weng Yunpeng in 1996 when I was back in Beijing on holiday. He was perhaps the first young person in local painterly circles to have seen my New York works––the juxtaposed series, and the so-called album still life paintings I did the year after. I remember his face as he squinted up at them, silently looking. Not long after, he painted his television series in a small room. Of course, I was the first person to behold those works, and I laughed. He said he knew I would laugh.

Lately, I don’t even recognize his works. He’s traveled very far, temporarily shelving the brush and using a digital camera to photograph his tableau, holding the frame so that he can capture a portion of the subtitles, and obstructing any interpretation and thereby producing an image, its just like propagation. To my limited knowledge, I believe these are the most straightforward and deceitful pictures in either Euro-American or Chinese contemporary photography, it’s as if they are cross-sections of today’s images. In an essay on his “television paintings” and digital works, I wrote that we never recall the details of our own self-loathing, nor can we analyze its cause. But the theory-lacking Yunpeng uses a savage interest and gaze to reveal the puzzling side of life’s images––there’s no solution to the puzzle, yet we stay to watch, use intellect and contemplation to make a shortcut, and approach the void.

Happily, I painted those boring album still life works. Yunpeng said they gave him sustenance and motivation. “Looking” at albums, “discovering” the television, is it logical? And recently, the television has taken him further away from traditional painting. Traditional painting as the mother of contemporary photography, twenty years ago, Weng Yunpeng went through several metamorphoses, the somewhere between the game of looking and his inherited genes.

March 26, 2009