“Artists output thoughts while painters rely on intuition, so I hover between these two identities of artist and painter. My paintings, films and installations are props of thinking. As each medium has its own meaning, I will discuss the meaning of meaning and the value of value in itself. I will discuss myself!” - Zheng Haozhong
A graduate from the Central Academy of Fine Arts in Beijing, Zheng knew that he wanted to be an artist at a very young age. He started painting at 15 and his principal inspiration at the time was Rembrandt. “When I saw one of Rembrandt’s works, I knew that Rembrandt was a master! I told myself that I also want to be a master!”
Zheng likens his paintings to a set of props – each painting expresses an idea or feeling and it is through experiencing the combination of his works in an exhibition that the viewer gets a real glimpse into the artist’s innermost thoughts. That is one of the reasons that Zheng has typically produced series of paintings, the most recent of which is entitled “Desolate Beach”. Working directly from real-life subjects, Zheng often spends days working with his models and a crucial part of his creative process is the meticulous filming and documentation of his work-in-progress, which in turn allow the audience to fully immerse themselves in the artist’s world.
In 2014, Zheng was awarded the John Moores Painting First Prize (China), the UK’s most prestigious painting prize.