Trained at the Beijing Film Academy and faced with the limitations of the film industry, Chen Fei chose the individualistic freedom of painting to express his artistic creativity. Subjects and composition are drawn from his extensive knowledge in cinema, provided by training and passion for movies. In terms of technique, he was trained in the traditional ways of painting, but chose to simply do it in a personal way: a “superflat” treatment of the texture and a combination of vivid colours, distinctively outlined in black. His approach to painting is quite ambiguous: he treats a painting like a film and never shoots again in the event of a mistake and he frequently uses the same familiar heroes (his models, himself and his girlfriend and dog, are chosen out of convenience and not agenda, their identity does not matter) alongside a variety of cinematographic references. Both global modernity, as he is a dedicated movie fan, and Chinese tradition, as he is hermit-like, in his fondness for staying at home, infuse his vision. His elaborate scenes illustrate this ambivalence, which is part of his message. Focusing on his everyday life and the two people who fill it, or his film icons, the artist dwells on individualistic preoccupations, or obsessions as opposed to societal concerns. This is a common trend found in the attitude of the post 1980’s generation, influenced by the world of anime, and more importantly, an era of consumerism and globalisation. Chen Fei challenges the concept of good and bad taste, both aesthetically and morally, by representing violence and sex or by reflecting on the fact that a number of movie icons would be monsters or criminals in the real world but are revered by film fans. In accordance with his own set of values, the artist points to the fact that a number of people actually like “not so pretty things” and believes such aesthetics leave a longer lasting impression than beauty. His goal is to stir emotions and sensory sensations.