Featured Artist - Joe Zhe Ren
Zhe Ren was born in Tianjin, China. He received his B.F.A degree in Sculpture from Tianjin Academy of Fine Arts, his M.A degree in painting and drawing from Arkansas State University, and M.F.A degree in 2D specializing in Digital Media from Southern Illinois University Carbondale. For the past few years he has exhibited his art work at nationally and internationally in America, Sweden, Finland, South Korea, and China.
Man-made Landscape-Snow Mountain of White
The Wind Blow Over The Summer
Artist Statement: My work is about investigating the relationship between reality and representation found in the tension between human and nature. I discover the contradiction existing between appearance and content by exposing the disorder in our surrounding environment. Thus redistributing the realization of environmental concerns. I create contemporary fictional urban, natural locations, containing scenes and patterns that create a sense of familiarity through the use of some small found objects or images. I build the duality through beauty and toxicity. My works emphasizes notions of alienation, greed, waste and desire inherent in modern life. Miscommunication and fantasy are excuses invented to obscure the reality, which is accompanied by an undeniably fictitious, constructed landscape. In my work, I build conflict between the surface and background to overturn one’s understanding of reality. I question the relationship between reality and representation, truth and lies, between what we see and what we want to believe, between what is and what we create for ourselves. I want to bring out those questions and incite investigative thought concerning the world we live in and the postmodern cultural experience about duality, uncertainty and doubt of reality itself.