Feng Mengbo (冯梦波)

Born in 1966 in Beijing, Feng’s childhood was hugely influenced by the Cultural Revolution at its peak in the 70s. Feng graduated from the Design Department at the Beijing School of Arts and Crafts in 1985,. He went on to complete a master’s degree from the Printmaking Department at the Central Academy of Fine Arts in 1992, studying under famous artist Xu Bing.

He became one of the first Chinese artists to develop an interest in global networking, the virtual world and their effects on human behavior. Since the early 1990’s, he has worked at the intersection of painting and digital media and is widely considered to be a pioneer in new media art. When computer-based art became too common in Feng’s eyes, he returned to painting, but still using very innovative and cutting-edge techniques.

Feng disavows the label Political Pop, bestowed on those members of China's post-Mao avant-garde who commingle the motifs of Communist propaganda and consumer capitalism. Instead, he views himself as less concerned with history and politics than with interactive technologies. Nevertheless, he shares with compatriots like Yu Youhan an insouciant attitude toward the icons of China's recent past.

He uses these cultural icons in a romantic, heroic manner to tell moral or political tales. Feng’s paintings are more whimsical and escapist than those of the Political Pop movement of the time. In his own words, he does not want to be known just as a media artist. Feng actually never liked the term ‘media art.

 

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