Further Biographical Context for Cheng Baohong
Cheng Baohong was born in 1943 and was primarily influenced by the 1960s growing up. The universal impact of the 1960s was truly astonishing across the globe. Evocative of a time stirring both faith and anger, the 1960s prompted an outburst of cutting-edge ideologies and movements, truly exciting and spectacular. Historically established in the context of the Cold War, which would have a highly influential impact internationally, mainly defined by the Iron Curtain dividing Europe both physically and spiritually, and significantly marked by the erection of the Berlin Wall in 1961. The 1960s re-defined all pre-existing assumptions on gender, race and justice, questioned education as well as morality and selfhood – for instance through the civil rights movement and second wave of feminism, as well as student political uprisings. The incredible boom of mass consumerism also defined the era, engendering new trends in marketing and advertising. Minimalism established the crucial idea that art should subsist in its own reality, and not try to mimic the real world. Born of a desire to eradicate all pre-established notions about art, Minimalism turned into a radically progressive movement, highly influential worldwide, with artists such as Frank Stella, Donald Judd and Dan Flavin as key actors. Morris Louis, Kenneth Noland and Helen Frankenthaler were artists who sought to delve into some of the most fundamental philosophies of Abstract Expressionism, while eliminating the emotional and highly personal aspect it would often associated with it. This led to the creation of Colour Field painting, deeply relating to Minimalism. The iconic contemporary art movements that reverberated through the wave of radicalism of the 1960s also had their own nuances and scopes, distinctive to different areas or countries. Spatialism, for instance, was established in Italy by Lucio Fontana and Piero Manzoni, and its ideologies embraced by the Zero group in Germany. Across Europe, the philosophy of Existentialism strongly influenced artists like Francis Bacon and Alberto Giacometti, who strived to depict the raw human emotions often connected to reflections on death and the haunting angst of the meaninglessness of life.