Lives and Works: Beijing
Born in 1976, Deng Da fei graduated from the Department of Comprehensive Art, China Academy of Art, in 2005 with a Master’s degree. He is currently living and working in Beijing as an independent artist.
Dafei’s early works focus on video art based on physical performance, highlighting the accidental instants of liberation that are triggered where individual living circumstances and public environments and ideologies collide. His works at different stages highlight personal artistic performances of successive and serial statuses in a public field, such as Spaceman of Shenzhou 19 and Invincible Sword. As he moved to Beijing later on and underwent some changes in his living circumstances, he has gradually shifted his attention from inner spiritual experiences to outer environment, human geography and other visual cultural domains, and the core of cultural studies as well as intellectual foundation has become the major background of his works. Artistic creation not only amplifies his personal attitude but also outlines documentations that bear an investigative overtone, and his artistic practices starts to experiment on curating group exhibitions, such as the theme exhibition of the 2010 Beijing 798 Art Festival, of which the independent and radical artistic expression inclined to critical social mobilisation.
In recent years, Dafei initiated the Utopian Group with He Hai, and its practical methodology is comprised of a string of artist-in-residence programmes. Utopia is the reference standard of idealisation, and its spiritual essence of perfection forms a mirror that reflects realities per se, which is the origin of criticism on realities and the genesis of artistic creation. Hence Utopia is not picture of perfection that art pursues; it merely provides a reference attitude towards realities.
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