Tag Archives: Zheng Wenxin

Hungry Dungeon Friends

There are some conversations that can only take place on the borders of ourselves; in contact with the other. The exhibition, Hungry Dungeon Friends, circulates around these borders and interiorities. They are viscous, unformed, multiple and representative of our hybrid nature.  

Through the hybrid format of the PILOTENKUECHE  International Art Program, there are possibilities to realign ones practice and be exposed to new environments, like the dungeonesque basement at KKW which offers a unique stimuli. Exchanges can be marked by a need, a hunger communicated through the affective fields of our bodies.  The body-organism is linked to the world through a network of primal signifiers, our bodies’ raw data

Like in the Deffractionist writings of philosopher, Karen Barad, in this project the pollination between practices and processes of the artists seeks to frame how “we cut together apart.”  The work explores intimacies and edges of collapse, dialogues about method, stages of unconscious and conscious action. How and what inhabits these points of exchange? PILOTENKUECHE offers a space to challenge temporal and spatial constraints.

In an enhanced awareness of these possible exchanges we question and reconfigure understandings. Hungry Dungeon Friends seeks to look into our entanglements in a myriad of ways. Conceived in an underworld of currents, it is a form and place where thinking intervenes in the more than human worlds.

Theorist Donna Haraway’s work highlights the figuration of these broken boundaries and imploded worlds, where knowledge and ontology dissolve. As a species we need to collectively reimagine new forms of empathy and understanding. In turn, this allows the developing of methods of care and extends the notion of what relating is, in order to confront humanity’s 21st century human exceptionalism. 

written by Curator in Residence Colette Patterson

Hungry Dungeon Friends

Saturday 17 August 

Live performances by 
sound artist Isaac Magner with film maker Agathe Barreand performance artists Antonia Wetzel, Tom Alexander Austin and Simon Schäfer.

Saturday 24 August
Curatorial Tour by Colette Patterson

Live performance by 
Tom Alexander Austin

Sunday 18 August – Sunday 1 September 
10AM-6PM Tue-Sun

Saalfelder Str.

PK RD40 

International residents

Adam Tuch (sound, digital art, installation/US)
Agathe Barre (film/FR) 
Antonia Wetzel (performance, painting/DE)
Ariel Taylor (painting/US)
Clément Bedel (painting/FR) 
Christopher Sperandio (comics/US) 
Darien Crossley (performance, painting/US)
Helene Planquelle (painting, drawing/FR)
Isaac Magner (sound design, video/UK) 
Michella Perera (sculpture/UK)
Tom Alexander Austin (performance/UK)
Vernon O´Meally (painting/US)
Zara June Williams (painting/AU)
Zheng Wenxin (painting/CH)

Local Participants
Matthias Geisler (painting, printmaking/DE) 
Simon Schäfer (sculpture, film, sound, installation, digital/DE)

Colette Patterson (UK)

Fiona Irene Graf (DE/UK) 
Huai-ya Lin (TW) 
Silvia Zandomeneghi (IT)
milkafterfish (instagram)
Stanley Louis (HA/FR) 
iam_stanlouis (instagram)– 

Artist spotlight: Zheng Wenxin

Zheng Wenxin’s work is comparable to an archaeologist who rediscovers, documents and studies the moments shared by her friends on social media. The action of painting is useful for her to interpret and convey the feelings she has with the virtual space: too flat and vast. In fact, this ‘reality’ very often gives us a wrong and hasty perception, a lot of information is veiled or completely obscured.

She transfers the rapid flow of events on scroll with an abstract style as if to capture that moment. Her long carpet of colors is a concentration of emotions perhaps already forgotten by those who have made them public on the Chinese platform WeChat.

She has always focused on the psychology of the individual throughout the years of her artistic practice. What interests her today is the extraordinary speed with which technology in China is growing from year to year. The quantity of images available to us has made this instrument the new source of inspiration; as she says: “This is another kind of painting still life”. This is the contemporaneity that she is living and she is conscious that all this can change within a few years.

The artist chooses one single day, takes only the date and place of the post and paints everything she sees without preferences: most of the photos she encounters are selfies. And it is through this randomness that she realizes the labile distinction between what is private and public in the life of her friends. Sometimes the images she paints are very intimate scenes of the individual. On the artist’s part there is a suspension of judgment. She does not deliver a criticism but a desire to restore that tension between what we see and what we think we see.

Her brushstrokes do not want to faithfully represent all she sees; it is almost impossible for the viewers to reconstruct a direct connection with the photos or to trace the source because she only captures the sensations, the words, the perception of the colors. The figures in the paintings look like silhouettes. They are distorted. They are like masks.

It is a combination of fields of colors and geometric lines, almost cubist, that create a continuous flow. This is effective for returning the typical noise and fragments of social media. The two-dimensionality is also an aspect that she takes back from the mobile screen, and for this paradoxically she can be considered a realistic artist. The titles of her art work, which are coordinates of the place where the posts are published, can be cryptically a key to enter works.

The pictorial composition is a set of images apparently disconnected but must be grasped as a film of confused memories, like a dreamlike video of images.

With the Pilotenkueche project she has adopted – not only the scroll – but also a new experiment in materials: a series of small square alluminum plates portraying the rapid life stories.

The difficult challenge for Zheng Wenxin is to transmit these new social relationships with the ‘old’ artistic medium of painting.

written by Silvia Zandomeneghi

See Wenxin’s work in the upcoming exhibitions


Saturday 17 August 

Sunday 18 August – Sunday 1 September 
10AM-6PM (closed Mondays)
Saalfelder Str. 8
04179 Leipzig


Friday 20 September
Saturday 21 September – Monday 23 September
PILOTENKUECHE International Art Program
Franz-Flemming-Straße 9