Yangyang Wei 

With an innate feminine temperament, Wei Yangyang’s paintings reveal inner tranquility in delicacy and clarity of mind in simplicity. Although the paintings are painted by the tool material of oil painting, they are not greasy. Obviously, she applied the creative method of surrealism and basically developed the structure of picture in two-dimensional and three-dimensional space at the same time.

 

The picture is first limited to a two-dimensional plane (such as a half-expanded scroll, or a platform with boundaries), but then it always breaks through the two-dimensional plane and enters the three-dimensional space (such as a bird’s lower half is “dumped” outside of the limited “plane”). This kind of description shuttles between different dimensions gives her works a kind of randomness and freedom, reflecting a willful pleasure.

The surreal elements in Yangyang’s works do not make her art absurd and weird. Because she mostly uses image and schematic structure of the traditional landscape painting, skillfully transfers the skills of traditional Chinese realistic painting to the canvas, thus creates a quiet, fresh and lyrical style. In Yangyang’s painting works, the common features and sticky brush touch of oil painting are replaced by the elegance of traditional landscape painting, thus flashing us back into a long-standing sense of history and a pure natural space-time. She breaks the directness and simplification of transplantation on drawing lessons from tradition, and creates a fantastic dreamlike effect and a refreshing vision. This kind of uncertainty and fantasy factors free from reality correspond to the aesthetic intention, for which contemporary people yearn. Therefore, it can be said that she found a way to the contemporary era from the classical sentiment.

Some may wonder if Yangyang’s oil painting is too close to tradition and lose the characteristics of oil painting itself. On this point, two topics can be extended for discussion. One is that artists paint to express their inner feelings, not to maintain a painting type. No matter what kind of medium material, it can be used for an artist. What it important to judge a painting is its creation but not its type. So it is not necessary for a painter to set a limit to maintain the purity of a painting type (but there are plenty of painters who did so). Another is that freehand brushwork is the mainstream in traditional Chinese painting, oil painters who draw lessons from traditional art mostly start with “freehand brushwork” style. While Yangyang is fond of “traditional Chinese realistic painting”, especially the landscape of traditional Chinese realistic painting, which has a “isomorphic” relationship with her inner feelings, as if that is the fairyland she yearns for, the paradise she desires, or the homeland inside of her own heart. Therefore, these spotless “landscapes” can be regarded as a state of mind of Yangyang. 

© 2016 by Arthill Gallery.

Ground Floor, Lourdes Apartments,

North End Road, London W14 9NU

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