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Chinese ink and acrylic on rice paper
Dimensions: 138cm (H) x 70cm (W) / 54.3" (H) x 27.6" (W)
Note: Actual colours may vary due to photography & computer settings.
Like the literati before him, Wei is not only well-versed in ancient text and calligraphy, but he is also fascinated with the study of Chinese culture, in particular “Yi Pin”, an aesthetic practice developed by the literati painters in the Song Dynasty. Practitioners of this study choose to illustrate the spirit and soul of the object, rather than the physical appearance. This can be seen in his recent popular flower paintings where he not only depicts a blooming bouquet of flowers, but also captures the energy hidden within the bloom.
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Hometown: Shanxi Province
Based in: China
Since the mid-1980s, Wei has been studying and innovating modern calligraphy in order to explore the possibilities of ink brush creation and the written language. Trained as a mathematician, Wei Ligang’s works are unified in their underlying pursuit of aesthetic patterns and forms, the transition between chaos and order. Although his works display some characteristics of Western modern art and abstraction, for Wei, calligraphy offers many possibilities for establishing a kind of Eastern abstract art system. Generally speaking, the artist’s paintings have three distinctive features that are inseparably linked to the Chinese ink tradition: an unreserved focus on Chinese characters, a conceptual examination of the structure of these characters, and an emphasis on the strokes and ink expression of the characters as opposed to the representative aspect of the words themselves.
Wei Ligang constantly deconstructs and re-forms the characters in his paintings while hinting at traditional calligraphy script-forms; some works contain the written word, others just contain the character’s strokes, lines, and structural elements. The artist’s systematic and bold application of color, a topic rarely explored in the traditional Chinese calligraphy, further showcases the expressive capacity of calligraphy. Wei’s freehand gold-paint or gold-ground paintings take classical poetry and the artist’s musings as their subject, which are then expressed with unconventional character forms and painterly ideas. In other series, the artist utilizes experimental ink and calligraphic patterns mixed with new materials like acrylic, lacquer and propylene, with the aim of bridging the abstract expression of Chinese and Western paintings.
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