曾杨眼中的现实，既是?个?化概念，也是?个历史与政治的概念。每?个个体都不是孤立存在的，而是自?出生就与这个世界发生着千丝万缕的关系。这些千丝万缕的关系构成了他所生活现实。曾杨出生与成长于中国改革开放的环境中，亲历了中国近三十多年来的日新月异的社会变迁。任何社会变革时期，都存在着新观念与旧观念、历史与未来之间的争锋。中国改革开放不只是社会新与旧纵深维度的讨论，更是对如何面向?个更开放的世界的思考与实践。传统与当代、历史与现实、地方经验与全球化、城市与乡村……。这些问题是曾杨成长、学习和后来生活中都会不断遭遇的现实。在任何?对两级关系之间，都还包含着更复杂的问题。对于曾杨和很多中国人来说，这并不只是?个简单的在 A 与 B 进行选择的题目。于曾杨而言，现实是?个不确定的存在。因此，他虽然?直是围绕着现实展开思考和创作，但很少采用某?特定场景、空间、人群、事件等来表达对现实的思考，而是通过更复杂的形象关系来追问现实是如何构成的。中国改革开放以来的成就已是引人注目的景观，彷佛她正在实现几代中国人关于民族复兴的伟大梦想。作为?个中国艺术家，曾杨却以?种冷眼旁观的姿态审视着这?切——已实现的繁荣和被许诺的复兴，更像是某种历史问题的回响——现实就像?个有待被清理和重建的废墟。
Pavilions, white towers, Taihu stones, carousels,trains, fuzzy calligraphy, characters in the murals of Yongle Palace, the imageof soldiers of World War II, dancers... There are always various images in ZengYang’s paintings. These images are combined, interlaced andsuperimposed in different ways and presented on the canvas in a montage manner.Montage is a way of visual editing. In this way, Zeng Yang edited the seeminglyunrelated images, and even he consciously created the distance between theimages and the images.
In a general sense, image narrative is a related themethrough a related image. However, Zeng Yang did not use such a method fornarrative. The span between image and image is often used to give viewers someconfusion. At this point, Zeng Yang's works are like the way of earlysurrealism to deal with images, but Zeng Yang has no intention to exploresubconsciousness and dreams. Instead, he constructs a framework of realisticcognition through the large span of image and expands the boundaries ofunderstanding of reality.
The cognitive framework of Zeng Yang’s reality is grand, which not only includes horizontal culturalreference, but also joins the historical and political dimensions. The realityin Zeng Yang's paintings is no longer the real existence exposed by specificscenes, characters and narratives, nor the indiscriminate reproduction of whatthe eyes see, but a macroscopic perspective on how reality is formed of. Thoseimages that seem to be far away from us and those that seem to be out of ourlives are, in a sense, more conducive to understanding what is reality, and toreveal the essence of reality in a way that distracts the appearance.
“The reality of shambles” is a perspective to understandreality. Specifically, it is an artist's perspective on the reality he livewithin. In his paintings, Zeng Yang has very few descriptions about his livingenvironment. "Reality" seems to be absent. Through the artist'sexpression , those images that appear to be unrelated to reality become thepresenters of the picture, occupying the eyes of the canvas and the viewer. Theartist seems to be creating a paradox that reality exists in an absent way.
The reality in Zeng Yang’s eyes is botha cultural concept and a concept of history and politics. Every individual doesnot exist in isolation, but has a very inextricable relationship with the worldsince birth. These inextricable relationships constitute the reality of hislife. Born and raised in China's reform and opening up environment, Zeng Yanghas experienced the ever-changing social changes in China for nearly threedecades. In any period of social change, there is a struggle between new ideasand old ideas, history and the future. China's reform and opening up is notonly a discussion of the new and old dimensions of society, but also areflection on how to face a more open future world. Tradition and contemporary,history and reality, local experience and globalization, cities and villages...These problems are the reality that Zeng Yang will continue to encounter in hisgrowth, study and later life. There are more complex issues between any pair oftwo-level relationships. For Zeng Yang and many Chinese, this is not just asimple question for choosing between A and B. In Zeng Yang, reality is anuncertain existence. Therefore, although he has been thinking and creatingaround reality, he rarely uses a specific scene, space, crowd, event, etc. toexpress his thoughts on reality, but through more complex image relationshipsto ask how reality is composed of. The achievements since China's reform andopening up have been a striking landscape, as if she is realizing the greatdreams of several generations of Chinese people on national rejuvenation. As aChinese artist, Zeng Yang looks at it all with a cold?eyed attitude – the realized prosperity and the promised revival are more like thereverberation of some historical issue.
- Reality islike a shambles to be cleaned and rebuilt.