Hao Zeng

Zeng Hao is a Chinese artist living and working in Beijing. His paintings of tiny figures floating in the air challenge orthodoxy and realist representation, and he was dismissed as a teacher at Guangzhou Academy of Fine Arts because of his unconventional painting style. Critics have labeled Zeng a "New Imagist": one who twists or even attacks the traditional execution of images, brushwork, color and composition. Early on, Zeng was drawn to Western post-impressionism, cubism and abstract expressionism. His "5:00 p.m. in the Afternoon" (1996) shows a yuppie-looking man and woman gazing in the foreground and various pieces of furniture scattered around them, all against a flat, greenish background. The persons and objects are out of proportion, and the vast emptiness around them makes them seem isolated and miniature. In subsequent paintings, Zeng made his images even smaller, more isolated and disproportionate. Zeng is said to be portraying the emptiness of life as well as the scattered, fragmented nature of space and time.