Zeng Jianyong

Born 1971

Using materials that are associated with traditional Chinese painting and watercolor--handmade paper, inks, and watercolors, Zeng’s technique is uniquely his own.

Zeng's work depict a single child or group of children in ordinary dress against empty, neutral backgrounds. An armband bearing three horizontal stripes and a prominent black scarf worn about the shoulders identifies the “header.” The “header”  refers to an identity term used in the People's Republic of China to denote the head of the class-the top pupil, a child who not only earns good grades, but respects his or her elders and gets along well with others. The "header," held up as an example of all-around excellence, is something that Chinese children eagerly aspire to be. Zeng’s children, while discernible from one another, all have a distinct “Zeng” look --ruddy marks on their skin that reference perseverance or endurance, overly large heads, tiny noses and mouths, and startling silver-gray glassy eyes that resemble marbles.


Zeng Jianyong (originally from Chenghai, Guangdong province) currently resides in Beijing and has exhibited throughout China. Most recently he has captured the American audience in New York, Los Angeles and Miami.

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