Kun Fang studied painting in the academies of Beijing, Gent and Antwerp. She was remarked for her solid painting technique, colorful style and humanist, optimist approach of subjects like cultural differences and integration.
Kun participated in many cultural events around Europe and China. While cherishing collaborations and experiments, she maintained a continuous focus on painting in her studio. This resulted in an impressively large and diverse body of work.
Her work isn't limited to one style and can be organised in series along intersecting themes.
The viewer who becomes familiar with the recurring symbols and the intense color is struck by the beauty and energy of each individual work.
Kun Fang's color use is inspired by european modernism and eastern traditions of refinement.
Her work shows a refreshing lack of tendenciousness, following passion into historical styles, narratives and conceptions of beauty, accepting the search for meaning bravely and independentally.
Moving from China to Belgium meant a very intense cultural experience. In the encounter of East and West neither can be dominant; the encounter quietly continues in her work.
In her paintings she explored themes such as cultural differences and integration, managing to build a humanist, optimist vision.
Kun at first embraced a thoroughly figurative painting technique and slowly developed a more expressive and remarkably colorful style.
One by one she discovered, adopted and treasured european avant-garde styles. Her experience in Chinese culture and art scene was a fertile background to put these impressions into work.
After being introduced by her teacher Fred Bervoets in expressionist vision, Kun was further influenced by Cobra (Fred's mentor Jan Cox), new expressionism (especially German) and lyrical abstraction.
This resulted in a lyrical, near-abstract series in her own colors (yellow and blue) and themes (feminine assimilation, nuance and persistence vs. masculine avant-garde; eastern harmony and refinement vs. western experiment and competition).
Black, red and white
Swinging back from abstraction, Kun started depicting figures in a stylised, minimal way.
Portrayed in full figure, without background or detail except in the face and hands and using only black, red and white. Each portrait focused on one clear body tension (pose/movement) to refine its expression and show a unique aspect of female character.
The delicately drawn figures in Black, red and white are at the same time sharp mockeries and tender icons of consumerism.
An extension of this period of psychological deepening consisted of series of portraits of friends and popular faces, and of the first Panda series.
The way the painter and her characters are looking for a positive way to identify, by times strikes as uncanningly real and fragilely human.
Their search never lands in easy irony or critique but rather in double meaning.
The panda (national, somewhat Disney-like mascot of China) becomes a bitter-sweet symbol of this search for identity.
Series and experiments
Working as an independant artist for so many years, the different influences (craftsmanship, traditions, avant-garde, etc), their blend becomes complex, becomes her own.
Kun Fang chooses a passionate way and accepts the challenge to face diverging conventions.
In the struggle that follows she may fall back on classical depiction of situations (unity of action). But experimenting remains sacred and each time leads to a new series in a different style that is fostered by her monomanically.
If one wishes, a parallel can be drawn between this succession of intense assimilations and the psychology of repeated denial that is so human: invisibility as a child, as a student looking for work and love, as a migrant, as a woman, as an artist and so on.
Back to color and maximalism
In the clash and the wild, unrestricted, passionate blend of styles, color emerges as the structuring element between narratives too wide apart. The maximal use of color is a challenge.
Toon Cappuyns, art historian, 2020
It has been my privilege to follow and, whenever possible, back Ms Fang, from her first individual exhibitions in Antwerp. Through oral introductions in galeries and in written commentaries in art magazines and books, I have tried to point out the meaning of Kun Fang’s very personal style, and to clarify her endeavour in renewing contemporary painting, both in material terms and in terms of an intercultural synthesis.
More particularly, Ms Fang and I have collaborated in gallery exhibitions such as the Art Mix Gallery and Ludwig Trossaert Gallery, both in Antwerp; in interviews such as on Fenix TV; in important group shows such as The Biennale of Flemish Art, in the Château at Poeke, near Aalter, Belgium.
In my view, Ms Fang should be given more opportunities to show her skill and further explore her talents.
Frans Boenders, art critic, former broadcaster, poet and honorary president of the KVAB, Royal Flemish Academy of Belgium for Science and the Arts
Kensington Chelsea Art Week.
Small Pleasures project, Sheffield arts Centre, UK (featured on BBC Sheffield).
Coantivirus international online art exhibition, NY20+.
Boomer gallery, London UK.
EcoFeminism Art pavillion, London UK.
The spring exhibition, cultural center of Manchester UK.
Power, CICA Museum, Seoul South Korea.
Art vending machine, the People's Republic of Stokes Croft, Venice Biennale, Italy.
Yoko Ono's selection 'My eyes and manifestation', The Public Arthouse, Manchester UK.
Artist and Location, CICA Museum, Seoul South Korea.
Shanghai design Festival, China.
2nd prize Art and action, Den Haag Netherlands.
American art fair, Chicago USA.
'Milk and honey' Video art, Digital body, CICA Museum, Seoul South Korea.
Amsterdam Art Weekend, Netherlands (photos by Fabien Landwei).
Second Prize 'Mouth', Moscow.
Group exhibition in Serge Scohy Galery, Antwerpen Belgium.
'All the art in this space is not made by Kun Fang', Centre Culturel Aix-en-Provence, France.
Museum night fever, Operahuis De Munt, Brussels Belgium.
'Active Painting', The Butt Film Fest Breda, Netherlands.
Opening show of B&O Antwerp, Belgium.
Group show, Fortis bank Kortrijk, Belgium.
Group exhibition at Gallery Ludwig Trossaert, Antwerp Belgium.
Plantin Moretus Museum, Belgium (exposition of Kun Fang's 'Beauty and Beast' on a wall designed by Stefan Beel).
Group show at the USSL fondation, BeiJing China.
16th Biennale Poeke, Belgium.
Group show at Hanna Reichman Gallery, Wien Austria (curated by Herbert Drethvoll).
Residency and group show "Things that money can't buy / Greeting to John Lennon", Centre for Chinese Contemporary Art (CFCCA), Manchester UK.
Residency and group show "Rebel with a cause", Underground Arts Centre, Hamburg Germany.
Group show "Mayday", Centre for Chinese Contemporary Art (CFCCA), Manchester UK.
Group show "Women in the 21st century", Asia Arts Centre, Berlin Germany.
Group show "Beholding Beauty", Taipei Arts Centre, Taipei Taiwan.
Group exhibition "Newyaers Saloon", Szymon gallery, Zoersel Belgium.
Group exhibition "New Realism", Red Saloon Beijing Design Week.
Group show "Chinese artist and oversea", Art fondation ShangHai China, BeiJing China.
Group show "Child of Romantic", Gallery Serge Scohy, Antwerp Belgium.
15th Biennale Poeke, Aalter Belgium.
Group show for Artprize "Luxembourg", Paris France.
Solo exhibition, Ludwig Trossaert Gallery, Antwerp Belgium (presentation of "Red, Black & White", book with works by Kun Fang).
Residency and group show, Ullens Centre for Contemporary Art (UCCA),Beijing China.
Group show, Museum of modern art, Shanghai China.
2000 - 2009
Group show "Beijing Story" at Campo&Campo Gallery, Antwerp Belgium.
Projection "Beijing Story" at International Film Fest Vienna Austria.
Projection "Beijing Story", Arenbergschouwburg, Antwerp Belgium.
Group show "Panda Restaurant", Chinese embassy, Berlin Germany.
Group show, Marguetta Gallery, Rome Italy.
Group show, Mo gallery, Beijing China.
Group show, Biennale Shanghai, Shanghai China.
Group show, New Talents Awards (2nd Prize).
Projection, Fenix TV art documentary, Hong Kong China.
Group show, Mo Gallery, Beijing China.
Graduation show, Academy of Fine Arts, Antwerp Belgium.
2016 conversation with people interview of Tom and Sven (discussion island)
2015 interview by Culturele Vereniging Werklicht Rotterdam; numerous articles about kun and
co-artists participating the opening in the museum night in brussel
2014 numerous interview with Mafu and ZhangYu and by Guo ming lu
2013 interview with LinBai (universe=love)
2012 interview with Effe, give it away or rise it again, materials today
2011 interview by chinees art news ( forever poetry, kunfang,s artwork) interview with lui zheng
2010 interview with Hart art magazine
2009 interview with founder off chinees independent show Ma lu ming
2008 interview with chinees youth news ( does painting have its own language)
2007 interview with numerous articles about kun and iron fabric ( art movement )
2006 interview with several chinees germane and belgium newspaper about kun and her
masters Fred Bervoets and Mafu.
2004 international promotion chinees fennix tv ( art of kun fang in antwerpen)
2003 article in the several belgium financial economische tijd, de morgen en standaard
2002 article in the several belgium and chinees art magazine
2001 interview with land and art today (body and mind)
2000 discussion with wang jia xin ( chinees poet ) chinees morning newspaper
1999 art is in our mind dialoge with lin lang (chinees artist of chinees intellectual art)
1998 speak corner in beijing ( art in its best way)
1997 newspaper in beijing university ( first serie of kun )
1996 discussion panel with ARTIST IN BEIJING ( DING FANG, AIWEIWEI, GEORG BASELEITZ )
2000 The Museum of Modern Art in Shanghai, Kun gets the first command in her life to
make an abstract work of the color blue.
2004 collection by Frank Uytterhaegen MCAF in Gent (big danser), Belgium
2005 work for command for Lawyer Bond of Antwerpen, Belgium
2006 work for commission Roma Art lodge, italy
2007 work for family Fantin, Belgium
2008 collection by Ullens Center for Contemporary Art (UCCA), China
2009 commission love for the children by American Art Center in New York, China
2010 commission (the time) in creative center Shanghai, China
2011 commission landart in shangdong china
2012 commission art and reality in Game Center Tian Jing, China
2014 commission beauty in the eye of the beholder Roma, Italy
2015 commission active art by museum community of Brussel, Belgium art commision