As a young man, Zeng Fanzhi was so impressed by European expressionists that his early painting was mainly expressionist. He was born shortly before the beginning of the Cultural Revolution and his experiences as a troubled child during this time influenced his world view and thus his art. However, Zeng Fanzhi is not a painter of social-realistic criticism. His art is a representation of the individual and the individual demarcation of the mass. He is best known for his series of mask painting, which he performed exclusively between 1994 and 2000. Figures look out of the canvas, hidden faces behind these stylized masks, a clear indication of the distinction between the inner nature of man and the metaphorical mask facing the world. Often the characters in the paintings wear small red neck scarves, marked as young pioneers as a sign of revolutionary zeal. Despite his exemplary behaviour as a young man, Zeng Fanzhi was never awarded, which he repeatedly processes in his paintings. Lately, the masks and neck scarves disappear, but the single figure remains, now more and more often depicted in a gestural landscape. In these newer images, Zeng uses up to five brushes in one hand. He controls one, while the others roam freely over the surface of the image. The reprint of his brushstrokes partially obscures the figure, but the loneliness and the separation remain.