Zeng Jianyong Scope


Scope, the solo exhibition by artist Zeng Jianyong, will be held at Tokyo Gallery +BTAP (Beijing) from December 2019 through March 2020.

Our initiation into Zeng Jianyong’s oeuvre starts with his figure paintings, one of which depicts a child donning a black scarf, its scarred face carrying a bewildered expression. This hitherto unseen use of ink wash (shuǐmò) makes for an arresting expressive approach. Later on, the artist began to create landscape paintings, marking a shift from his humane concern to a greater attention placed on nature. Interestingly enough, rather than stopping at landscapes, he turned from two-dimensional to three-dimensional creations. In doing so, he set a successful precedent for the transitioning by a two-dimensional artist – an ink wash painter at that – towards the creation of three-dimensional works.

Zeng Jiangyong owes his distinct ‘edge’ to his constant pursuit of change. It seems as though a godly presence has emerged in his latest landscape works. Given that he himself was born into a Christian family, and Christianity lies at the foundation of Western culture, how then does Zeng Jianyong the ink wash painter perceive Asian religion? Or, otherwise put, what view of nature is held by Asian people? This question has been on the artist’s mind as of late.

In this exhibition, a tiny structure is placed amid an enormous landscape painting. What sort of presence are we dealing with here? Is this the dwelling of a god? Or a site where humans communicate with the gods? It’s up to each spectator to figure out the answer for themselves.


H450H x W1440 x D600 cm
Ink, leather, pinewood, candlelight, sound effect