Admiralty, Tamar Park
Chen Wenling’s sculptures have a distinctive style that embodies inherent strength, reflecting his vigorous life attitude as well as his profound survey of and unique experience in this contemporary environment. The inspiration for his Red Memory sculpture series comes from Chen’s memories of childhood in his hometown in Fujian, along with extraction and refinement of the common human nature of that special time of youth. The artist has devoted all of his effort to sculpt each of these innocent and carefree, yet naughty, even mischievous red boys, in order that The Red Memory can become a sharp contrast to the tension, anxiety, fear, falsehood and fame hungry attitude of real-world poverty-stricken adults, thus arousing the audience’s recollection and nostalgia of the innocence of youth and the time of childhood.
This sculpture is red, but is called Rainbow. It is also by Chen Wenling and also belongs to the Red Memory sculpture series.
Public art can be a great thing – and Public Art Hong Kong (PAHK) is a good resource to find out more about the sculptures around Hong Kong.
Born in 1969 in Anxi, a small, remote village in Fujian province, Wenling remembers his family being so poor that his parents could not afford to buy him toys and he grew up making figurines out of clay to entertain himself. Yet he counts himself lucky because his parents encouraged his artistic talent and Wen Ling went on to study at the Xiamen Academy of Art and Design, and then at the Central Academy of Fine Arts in Beijing.
The two main themes of Wenling's sculptures are the manifestations of extreme humanity and immaterial images in a consumerist society. This is evident through his 'Red Boy' series. It is neither realism nor vanguard sculpture, but instead the self expression of Wenling himself to the critical state of life. This series of the 'Red Boy' conveys his experience in an autobiographic form.