江衡以少年老成种特有的玉女画，呈出了和睦的个人风格。显出本人的个人风格是现代中华油画的风姿浪漫种出场格局。这一位风格的现世情势，从岳敏君、庞飞、张晓刚这里，形成了少年老成种固定套路，富含了三大特点，后生可畏，以意气风发种非具体的形制方式创设形象，正因为非现实，而能够发泄风姿洒脱种特有的私家符号;二，这一切实形象有所蛛丝马迹的象征性，正因为马迹蛛丝，轻便为大家释疑，为大众精晓，获得最佳的流传效果;三，那叁性子影象颇有配方式的复制性，配方杰出直陈式语义，复制能够不断地巩固成效。不要紧把那蓬蓬勃勃节晚会办会室法称为符号型艺术。邱加以其家庭照片变成了本人的家文化(鸠拙之家State of Qatar的私人民居房符号，何勇以其大批宣传画(配以花费符号卡塔尔(قطر变成了协调的政治戏讽的个人符号，曾梵志以其丑面丑身(丑讽之人卡塔尔国变成了协调政治丑讽的村办符号。江衡以相符准绳推出了协和的名媛符号，与张、王、岳的面向过去与当今的关联分歧，江衡的仙子符号呈出的是生机勃勃种今后与前程的关系，假如说，张、王、岳的议程首若是豆蔻梢头种文化/政治批判，那么，江衡的措施则是风姿浪漫种社会/文化批判。假设说张、王、岳的艺术批判更加多地是针着后生可畏种政治文化，那么，江衡的方式批判更加的多地照准着几日前的开支知识。从意气风发种更广泛角度看，那二种办法对于中华夏儿女民共和国社会转型的办法表明，都得以扩充多地点的辩驳读解，拥有甚多的论述空间。从美术历史上讲，对当下华夏成本知识的秘籍表现、艺术思想、艺术批判，是二个正值最初的趋势，当那意气风发主旋律在江衡小说中以好看的女人符号显示出来时，美术表明与学识内容的关联，获得了在画图上和在文化上的再一次推进。
I. New Direction for the Aesthetics of Symbolism
The art theorist Gombrich has a famous saying that, Painting is an activity, so the artists tendency depends on what he wants to paint, rather than painting what he perceives. In todays overwhelming flux of desire and the ever-renewing experience of consumption culture, is Gombrichs principle still applicable? If one reflects upon Jiang Hengs series of femme fatale, perhaps one would find the unique image of the femme fatale. What is more interesting is, among the varying faces of these beautiful women, one symbol transgresses them is their disproportionate eyes. What are those big eyes staring at? To stare into such gaze as an observer, what would you discover?
Jiang Heng presents his individual style with the unique paintings of femme fatales. To present ones individual style is the approach in which contemporary Chinese art is revealed. Such individual style has became a fixed model followed by artists like Zhang Xiaogang, Wang Guangyi, Yue Minjun, encompassing three characteristics: one is to compose with non-realistic forms, through which ones unique individual emblem is revealed; two, the actual form has a comprehensible symbolism, and because its comprehensible, it is easy for experts and the public to understand, as a result to be well promulgated; three, such form has a formulaic approach for reproduction, the concoction highlights the narrative connotation , reproduction that reinforces its effect. Why dont we call such art as symbolic art. Zhang Xiaogang formed his personal symbol of family culture (the idle family) with family photos; Wang Guangyi found his personal symbol of political satire with big character posters (and symbols of consumption); Yue Minjun formed his personal political criticism with vilified figures. Similarly, Jiang Heng used the symbol of the femme fatale as his trademark, unlike Zhang Xiaogang, Wang Guangyi and Yue Minjuns exploration of the past and present, Jiang Hengs femme fatale presents the relationship between the present and the future. If the art of the Zhang Xiaogang, Wang Guangyi and Yue Minjun is a type of art/political criticism, then Jiang Hengs art is a criticism of culture and society. If the former focuses on political culture, then Jiang Hengs work focuses on todays consumption culture. From a broader perspective, both these approaches provide multiple theoretical interpretations on Chinas social transition, all of which offer rooms for interpretation. Art historically, it is the beginning of artistic representation, reflection, and criticism on the current consumer culture in China. Jiang Hengs symbols of femme fatale push forward artistic cultural representation in terms of artistic expression and cultural content.
I believe, the big eyes are a remarkable symbol is perhaps what the artist want to paint in his femme fatale series.
II. Internal Structure within the Artworks
As we know, the consumption society is a highly visual society, viewing is not only a way in which to experience consumption but a proof of existence. The relationship between culture and visual culture have reached unprecedented conspiracy in the present. The time of discovering a good drink in the deep alley has been long gone, what is before us are those in front of our eyes, emitting unimaginable power. The French philosopher Guy Debords so-called Social Landscape has became a reality. The femme fatales eyes while gazing at us invite us to stare back. Therefore, the act of viewing and its artistic representation became the basic top of Jiang Hengs paintings.
The femme fatales portrayed by Jiang Heng are artistic symbols of this consumption era. The title he has given to this series Landscape of the Consumption Era mainly depicts beautiful women and cutleries which highlights the two most basic desires: lust and food. Here, I am not going to analyze the meaning and symbolism of the two, but to focus on the title, and their associating with the femme fatale and consumption society. In this sense, Jiang Hengs work series continues to focus on femme fatale: Femme Fatale; Femme Fatal Fish, Blossom; Blue; Butterflies, Scattered Objects, Constellation and etc, are all representations of the consumption society, all reveal the todays consumption society through these beautiful women. Moreover, the keywords in these titles: femme fatale, fish, butterfly, blossom, blue, objects are all etymologically related. Such association weaves into a network of significance, allowing the meaning of the beautiful women to gather, disperse, filter and deepen. These series of works shows an emphasis and an understanding of the close relationship between consumption and beautiful women, even Jiang Hengs other series that are seemingly unrelated to beautiful women, Flower Pattern Fabric, Exile, Toy Pig can also be associated to beautiful women with the same approach: the basic elements in Flower Pattern Fabric are precisely those of the femme fatale series, it could be said as a series of beautiful women beyond the images. The arrows in Exile are the basic elements of the femme fatales allusions. Therefore, the Exile series can also be considered as part of the femme fatale series. The object, context, motions and language of the Toy Pig series all allude to the beautiful women of the consumption era. In other words, Toy Pig is also part of the femme fatale series The names given to women in Chinese society vary from the beginning of the founding of the republic of comrade, to miss, lady from the reform era, to beautiful woman now in public spaces. How to understand beautiful women became a topic of contemporary culture, or even beyond this realm.
Undoubtedly, the painter is most interested in viewing, yet now all painters consciously treat viewing as the object of representation. In Jiang Hengs numerous series, the reoccurring image of the femme fatale became the transgressing emblem, thus entitled the Femme Fatale Series. Examining these women in detail, we cannot help to be shocked by the naked truth about viewing. I noticed that Jiang Hengs femme fatale series are somewhat akin to the ceramic dolls, because their eyes are nevertheless scarily large. These usual proportions have displayed the most crucial sensation for this consumption society with the most exaggerated manner. Moreover, behind the plethora of gazes and stares, myriads of visual enticements sip out. Noted is the highlight of on the dark eyes, from the ambiguous round dot (in Scattered Object 36) to the reflection similar to an exclamation mark (in Scattered Object 54), or the seemingly reflection of the display window (Beautiful Flower 2). These ways of expression reflect the eyes desire to the wonders of this world, and the lingering visions on the enigmas of life. We cannot help but to feel appalled by those exaggerated eyes, drawn to those longing eyes, and attracted to the gazes of desire. Perhaps there is reason of these womens glance is a visual culture fable of the consumption society.
III. Characteristics of Jiang Hengs Femme Fatale
此地，笔者想通过参谋相比两幅画来比较，从当中只怕大家能够解读出江衡大眼美丽的女生图的复杂性意味。后生可畏幅能够相比的是比利时王国超现实主义美学家马格利特的《虚假的镜子》(图风流洒脱State of Qatar。在这里幅画中，马格利特依靠眼球的镜面反射，清晰再次出现出意气风发幅蓝天白云的真实场景。作为超现实主义音乐大师，此幅画只怕反映了回想中的梦幻之景，但却是以非常真实的本来风貌来表现，颇具个别假作真来真亦假的情趣。反观江衡小说，比方《蝴蝶飞飞》(图二卡塔尔国，美眉的眼神充满了好奇，她在目送那一个世界。不止用本身的眼睛，并且依赖火镜来审视那一个世界，要把那一个世界看个通晓。倘使说马格利特超现实主义的见解折射出的真实风景是以反语情势的睡梦来发挥的话，那么，在江衡的红颜这里，眼光却是中度梦幻地实在表明。换言之，美丽的女子充作风流罗曼蒂克种审美那几个充满了物欲的开销世界象征符号，逼真地显示出明天以此视觉文化时期的真理：用眼睛去大批量并开支这几个世界。这里，眼睛被中度象征化和浮夸化了。的确，只要对当下平日生活稍加打量就能发觉，一切吸引人的事物首先表现为风景(spectacleState of Qatar。整个社会风气皆是转向为形象，德波说得好：景象是由以下事实所导致的，即现代人完全成了观众。这就以致了风光在现世社会中的统治和暴力。当群众发愤忘食于日常生活审美化的批评时，八个尤为重要的谜底在江衡的小说中被公布出来了，那便是后天的学问是生机勃勃种体验性的学问。体验的基本点措施便是视觉，眼睛不止打量着整个，恰如画面上那靓女中度象征性的眼神同样，更主要的是，大家还要注重种种本事花招在视觉上开支那风华正茂学问，火镜可是是各个数字手艺、传播技巧、视觉技艺和开销技巧的特点符号而已。于是，看这么些本来最广大的作为，以某种面生物化学的效用表现出来，它揭橥出在开销时代的视觉文化转变中，视觉欲望及其快感已升格为存在的明证情势自身看故小编在。马格利特式的梦乡镜像已经远去，美丽的女子本人作为视觉对象的大眼凝视，既是叁个被表现的图像符号，又是七个倡议观者步向视觉花费并享受视觉盛宴的特邀。不但用肉眼去体验，更要用凸透镜大器晚成类的才干手腕去放大要验。
The embellished forms of women in Jiang Hengs works can be summarized with three characteristics.
Here, I would like to make a comparison by referring to two paintings, from which we will perhaps decipher the complex meaning of Jiang Hengs images of femme fatale. One of the paintings is the Belgian surrealist painter Rene Magrittes The False Mirror (Image I), in this painting, Magritte used the reflection of the eye to represent the realistic image of white clouds in the blue sky. As as surrealist painter, perhaps this painting reveals the dreamlike view found in ones memory, yet are presented in its actual natural form, which can seem to have the somewhat tromp loeil effect. Looking back into Jiang Hengs paintings, Fluttering Butterfly (Image II), the gaze in his femme fatales is filled with curiosity, shes staring into this world. Not only with her won eyes, but uses a magnifying glasses to examine this world, because she wants to see the world with clarity. If Magrittes surrealist gaze reflect the actual view is a sarcastic approach to express imagination, then the gazes of Jiang Hengs femme fatale must be the true expression of utter imagination. In other words, femme fatale as a symbol of material desire of the consumption world, has vividly revealed the truth of todays visual culture: using ones eyes to wager and consume this society. Here, the eyes are highly exaggerated and symbolized. Indeed, with slightest attention to our everyday life, one would notice anything that is attractive is first shown as a spectacle. The entire world has been transformed to images, as Debord stated, the spectacle is caused by facts, in other words, people today are observers. This let to the spectacles monopoly and violence in contemporary society. As people are absorbed in the discussion of the everyday aesthetics, an important fact is revealed in Jiang Hengs work, that is, todays culture is an experiential culture. And the primary approach to experience is seeing, the eyes not only approximate everything, just as the symbolic gaze of these beautiful women, but most importantly, people need to appropriate various techniques to consume such culture visually. The magnifying glass is the representation of various digital technology, communication devices, visual technology and consumption methods. Therefore, viewing, the most common behavior is shown in a rather estranged effect, it displays the visual desire and its gratification has been augmented to ways in which to verify ones existence in the transformation of visual culture of the consumption era I see therefore I am. Magrittes dreamlike mirror is behind us, the beautiful women as the visual object, stares with their big eyes, are visual emblem represented, as well as the invitation to the viewers to enjoy such visual feast. Not only can one experience with their naked eyes, but also with the assistance of the magnifying glass to enlarge such experience.
First of all, the doll characteristics of the female figure. Jiang Hengs female figure does not conjure truth from realist art, but embodies that of the Barbie Dolls. In other words, transforming Barbie dolls in two-dimensional space. As a toy, it can be shaped according to ones will. It is ideally highlighted through her big eyes (the big eyes are not only the global aesthetics of western culture, but also the result of modernizing Chinese aesthetic taste); because it is a toy, the ideal of this beautiful woman directly reveals the falsehood of its masking nature. The beauty in masking is becoming the characteristic of women in the consumption society, moreover, the masking beauty is appropriate for the essence of the beautiful women in this society: its doll-like characteristic.
Therefore, I would like to comment that the scarily large yet real eyes have became the cultural emblem to experience current culture. The dichotomous quality of the femme fatale and their gazes are presented literally. As a viewer, confronted with this painting, we are in fact viewing the gaze of this beauty and stare into her stare. On the one hand, these beautiful women exist as the image in the mirror; on the other hand, while we stare into their stares weve became the image in the mirror of their gaze, this is the dialectics of visual culture. It helps us to further understand Maurice Merleau-Pontys statement, Viewing is like being at the crossroad, it is where all directions meet. What people perceive and made seen, evolves above existence, is the act of viewing.
Secondly, it is the consumability of the female figure. Jiang Hengs femme fatales are displayed in a fashion of the desired object. It is especially conspicuous in the series of Landscape of the Consumption Era and Femme Fatale Fish. In Landscape of the Consumption Era, the beautiful women are placed in on plates, mixing lust and food. Some are one woman on a single plate, others show two women on two plates, and so on so forth - it is a feast of women, a feast of desire in an era of consumption. Those femme fatales highlighted lips shows her edible nature, and her headless body and raised legs emphasize a mindless yet physical desire, especially those pose with hips raised up high - a display of multiple metaphors in the consumption of desires. Similarly, Femme Fatale Fish uses fish as the object of consumption, as well as being the main body of consumption. Fish in Chinese culture is symbolic of reproduction, marriage of men and women is known as the happiness of fish in water. In the Femme Fatale Fish series, the beautiful women are often placed in water, and numerous fish swim around it. However, in the consumption era, fish is already irrelevant to the reproduction of men, but related to the satisfaction of the act of mating, symbolizing games and satisfaction of ones desire. The women surrounded by fish have shown varying expressions on different paintings, especially her flirtatious look of the winking eye, underlines that beautiful women are not only the object of consumption, but also the main body of those who consume. Once one understands the meaning of the subject/object/consumption/desire, could the meaning of consumption and the meaning of this era found in the false beauty of these women become apparent.
Then lets compare the other painting, the American Pop artist Tom Wesslemanns The Great American Nude 59. I am uncertain whether Jiang Hengs femme fatale series are influenced by this American Pop artist. Although the comparison of these two artists can be mesmerizing. Without mentioning the similarity of their series of works, in terms of their creativity. What interests me is that Wasslemanns Nude series have never painted the eyes onto the women, in order to emphasize the sexy characteristics of women; whereas in Jiang Hengs femme fatale (Fluttering Butterfly 17) the kitsch sexiness seem to be separated from the glassy effect of the ceramic-like dolls, yet highlights the big eyes and her desire filled gaze.
Thirdly, the metaphorical meaning of these beautiful women. The plates in Landscape of Consumption Era and the fish in Femme Fatale Fish highlights the context in which the beauties appear inform us the metaphorical meaning in the artists thinking. Form this view, the context is that in which defines the beauties, strictly speaking, since these figures are not realist portraits, therefore, the context should not be referred to their context, but the decorative elements to reinforce the ideas behind these women. These decorative elements are not done at ones will, but purposefully contemplated. As we look through the femme fatale series, and as these elements unfold, eventually they were gathered in the series of Flower Pattern Fabric: goldfish, apple, flower, butterfly, legs, stilettos, pills, airplane, hand gun each symbolize one aspect of the femme fatale, which are all rich in meanings from a culture and art historical point of view. Furthermore, the characteristics of beautiful women of the consumption era are further displayed. These elements, when each accompanies a beauty, they imply the multiple complexities of women of this era. Let us examine the decorative elements for these femme fatale.
图三，江衡《蝴蝶飞飞17》(2009State of Qatar
Speaking of traditional painting, Chinese paintings have always emphasized the key of passing on the spirit through the eyes, which explains not drawing the eyes to dragons. Wasslemanns women without eyes perhaps originate in other thinking, perhaps in his view, these nude women have became soulless bodies, therefore it is unnecessary to draw the window to their soul, or perhaps only the lips and nipple can best represent the sexual characteristics of Hollywood symbolism, and the eyes became dispensable. Jiang Hengs femme fatale series on the contrary, depict the eyes are its core emblem. It is not only a must to paint the women with eyes, but had to be done in the most exaggerated approach. The sexy kitsch is no longer a novelty under Jiang Hengs brush, what he would like to express is the symbolic relationship between the eyes and the world, where the world is in a visually dominated era, the joy of ones existence and experience relies on ones visual command. Hence, Jiang Hengs femme fatale series transcends the American Pop art kitsch art, but penetrates into the visual topic of modern culture: the inquest of viewing. Wang Erde has pointed out before that, to view an object is entirely different from having seen an object. We look at the world daily, but could have seen nothing at all. The big eyes in Jiang Hengs femme fatale series with piercing gazes is perhaps questioning the act of viewing, calling on the presence of viewing, transforming viewing from seeing. The objects existence is because we have seen them, what we see, how we see it, depends on the art influencing us. Isnt that the truth the artist would like us to know?
苹果：在古The Republic of Greece便是与女人和由女子而孳生的烽火轶事;
In summary, I would like to say that the gazes on the images soaked up with invitation constantly approximates and contests the viewers gaze, questioning us whether we have understood the truth from the visual experience of this consumption era? Whether you have transformed seeing to viewing? Have you witnessed the reflexive nature in viewing? As Merleau-Ponty stated, the object is below our eyes, that rejects and disperses their truth form, they question our gaze directly. They challenge the agreement we have reached with our body and this world.
IV. The Metaphorical Elements in the Femme Fatale Composition
Every element in forming the femme fatale conjures complex meaning.
Fish: alludes to sexual desire and satisfaction in Chinese culture.
Apple: symbolize female and the classic war stories caused by women in ancient Greek history.
Flower: symbolizes beauty and glamour in every culture.
Butterfly: not only implies beautiful women (colorful butterfly), but also the pursuit of beautiful women (butterfly resting on flowers)
Legs and stilettos: fashion symbols of modern cities, as well as symbols of desire in modern cities.
Pills: symbolize the stimulant for desire in the consumption era, the fashionable ailment in such era, desires and fashion requires pills to stimulate, numb and cure.
Hand gun: the realistic reaction to this object is stimulation, danger, and death which also coexist with the external glamour of consumption era; in a spiritual analysis, it symbolizes the male reproductive organ, which is related to desire, power, ejaculation and penetration.
Airplane: Psychoanalytically, it also symbolizes the male reproductive organ, related to erection, hard-on, flying, penetration, but is also related to desire, height, drifting and inebriation.
Not found in the Flower Pattern Fabric, but a main element in the femme fatale series, the arrow, is similar in content with handgun but different in form, the former is found from the past, whereas the latter is a modern object. At the same time, it exemplifies that stimulation, danger, injuries, death have been the same throughout history.
In sum, fish, apple, flower, butterfly, legs, stilettos, pills, arrows, hand guns, air planes placed with beautiful women do not only create a context for these beauties, but also defines the nature of the consumption era, moreover, defines the nature of the beauties. For this reason, Jiang Hengs paintings of beautiful women are mutually effective: portraying the beauties symbolizing Chinas consumption era, and depicting Chinas consumption era with these women. From this view, one can understand why Jiang Hengs women are portrayed as dolls, as well as how such form is accessible to the modern public.
V. Looking at Jiang Hengs Femme Fatales Composition Artistically
Jiang Hengs composition of femme fatale is unique, however, the approach to this uniqueness is not original. As I have mentioned before, it is a common phenomenon in contemporary Chinese art, as well as the three main characteristics of creative approaches: the non-realist composition; the symbolism of the object; and the formulaic reproducibility. I think the strength and weaknesses of Jiang Hengs femme fatale are both related to this approach, what needs to be clarified however is, the other complex story related to culture and art history.