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Ge Feng's Biography

Ge Feng - Rose

I was born in Taiyuan in northern China in 1967, during the Cultural Revolution, and named Ge, meaning “Revolution”.
As a child I loved to draw. I soon became interested in photography and lacking a darkroom, I managed to print photos in the darkness under my bed.

At 16 I went to Xiamen College of Arts and Crafts in southern China to study traditional Chinese painting. I learnt how to balance the empty spaces and the subjects in my paintings and how to paint the elegant lines of bamboo.

At 19 I decided to cycle back home from Xiamen to Taiyuan. I cycled the length of China on a traditional bicycle with no gears. It was a long, hard journey, trudging and cycling over the mountains for a month. The experience taught me that even very difficult tasks can be achieved by taking one step at a time - you simply need to be bold enough to believe in your initial idea.

This new understanding helped me to graduate top of my class, and soon afterwards several of my works won awards in the first 'All-China Genre Painting Exhibition'. These works were then acquired for the Chinese national collection and exhibited in the Chinese National Arts and Crafts Museum in Beijing.

In 1989 I moved to England. As I hardly spoke a word of English, the only way for me to earn a living was to sell art. I sold small works in craft markets, and soon began to have solo exhibitions all over the UK. Alongside the exhibitions I taught art workshops.

I have now lived half of my life in China and half in England, and I like to think that my art is a fusion of the best of both East and West.

My favourite subject to paint is people.
I have lived in three very different places-northern China, southern China and England-and it is always the people that make a place special.

I became interested in graffiti because the simplified style of stencilled art has a raw, direct feel which can convey the charm and wit of the people I want to paint.
In my graffiti work I try to bring to life an everyday place, by adding people with a story and a character of their own. When my graffiti people enter a very ordinary space, their presence brightens it up

Ge Feng's Artwork

Secret Hideaway
by Ge Feng
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