Some believe that the American Dream is about working hard in order to achieve fame, fortune, and success. Others believe that it’s about working hard to provide a better life for your Chihuahua named Tiny. Everyone has his or her own American Dream; Bin Feng’s exhibition The American Dream asks us to question what our version of this dream is.
Feng was born and raised in Shanghai, China and will soon receive his Masters degree in Photography from SCAD. In his upcoming exhibition, which opens at The Welmont this Friday with a reception from 7-10pm, Feng beautifully captures his own version of the American Dream through cinematic photographs.
When asked what the American Dream is to him, Feng says, “[My] idea of this dream is based on what I saw on TV at a very young age, the white picket fence and the Labrador were a part of these TV shows.”
Feng states that the Asian figure in his photographs represents a group of immigrants who have “an American Dream.” They speak a different language, and they come from different cultural backgrounds. They migrate to the United States with different life experiences, knowledge, and skills. “In time,” he says, “they become part of American culture.”
In his photographs, the protagonist, Feng, is literally an alien to the environment. The concept behind the exhibition is to analyze American culture from the point of view of a Chinese man.
Without a doubt, the quality of Feng’s work is beyond impressive—it is truly impeccable. The amount of work and detail put into these photographs proves that he has an amazing crew of people working alongside him. Feng says that he works with 20 people – half of his team is Chinese and half is American. While the images are exquisite they also have a fabricated aesthetic that reminds me of Jeff Wall’s work. The purpose of such meticulousness seems to beg the question, is the American Dream real? Or has it been fabricated?
The American Dream opens at The Welmont (1930 Montgomery St.) on Friday, May 27 with a reception from 7 – 10pm. To see more of Feng’s work, click here.