With both the long title - The Story Says, What Is Is, What is Not Is, What Is Is Also Not - and the vast fields of tightly packed red polka dots on the canvas, Chen Fei intends to present this piece as a tribute to a specific art representation, and a compelling account of his creative beliefs. The storytelling seems to evoke an image we've seen somewhere, sometime, or a still frame from a movie seen before. It thrusts viewer's thought in a place that's "What Is Is" and "What Is Not Is."
Chen seems single-minded on a quest to express the profound tie he shares with Japanese artist, Yayoi Kusama, as he adds this piece to his enchanting collection of work. The polka dots, laid out like tiny organisms of the universe and radiating liveliness as eternal as love, resurface under Chen's relentless yet powerful brushwork. With a passion for painting that borders on obduracy, Chen flat-brushes his characters and the tiny red polka dots in meticulous details. The viewer is won over by the vast plane of breathtaking, tightly organised polka dots when seeing this piece afar: the structure is elaborate and impeccable. As you get closer to examine the piece, you'd realise that the dots are arranged with military precision. Chen's practiced control ensures that the dots provide compositional balance, and they lend the piece a strong existential nature: when the viewer investigates the work up close, every dizzying polka dot translates into Chen's immeasurable patience and time invested in his creation.
The polka dots claim 90 of the space, and they fool the viewer into mistaking the piece for an abstract at first glance. Yet as the eyes travel to the bottom left, where Chen Fei projects himself onto the canvas to engage the female character in a wordless conversation, the storyline becomes to surface: the pure abstract has melted into an integrated narrative, giving the painting the Midas touch.