Wang Jianwei

Wang Jianwei, born in 1958 in Kaifeng of Henan Province, graduated from the College of Chinese Calligraphy, the Mural Painting Department of the Central Academy of Fine Arts, and the Advanced Research Class of the Research Institute of Traditional Chinese Painting. He is now working and living in Beijing.

Wang Jianwei’s artistic development experience demonstrates a typical path of culture and self-seeking. In 2014, he painted a total of 500 Buddha statue sketches out of an accidental chance. Since then, he threw away manyof his intrinsic artisticconcepts and turned to pursue an internalized creation approach.

Works By Wang Jianwei

Wang Jianwei has always been committed to depicting a spiritual world that is parallel to the reality. Since 2014, the images of Buddha and clouds that he extracted from traditionalChinese culture have repeatedly appeared in various creative scenarios. These scenarios are seemingly composed of multiple spaces from a purely visual perspective, whereas the objects and scenes being depicted are all transformed into geometric shapes. His images are filled with metaphors and philosophies, which is a completely unfamiliar visual experience for the viewers.

In Wang Jianwei’s point of view, “Buddha” is “all beings”, is “everything”, and is also “mankind”. “Clouds” represent “Qi (vigor)”, and “Qi” is the manifestation of “Taoism”. “Taoism” can be interpreted as a sort of cosmic energy, which is the source o fall beings. His works attempt to elaborate the relationship of “self” with “all beings”, with the whole universe and even the multiverse, to present the Chinese cosmology and worldview using a contemporary visual language, and to express the human philosophy with poetic images.

His creation provides a new possibility –the combination of artistic language with life wisdom, and consciousness space with energy presentation can be both materialized in the two-dimensional space; meanwhile, the “images” and “spirits” that Chinese people can best understand but hardly describe, the romance and happiness only belonging to the Chinese nation, have also been given a brand-new expression.

From the “Chaos”, the “Free and Unfettered in Creation”, to the “Self Sufficiency” series, the spiritual world depicted in Wang Jianwei’s works is apparently influenced by the traditional Chinese Taoist culture, attaching a particular importance to the depiction of “Qi”. Such an emphasized expression of “Qi throughout Heaven and Earth” is a contemporary reproduction of the extreme realm – “all things come naturally” – which was comprehended by ancient Chinese literati through pious meditation. In this way, the artist’s research efforts on the combination of traditional Chinese cultural spirit with contemporary painting have made a fruitful and crucial step.

From a grain of sand, a piece of flower, to mountains and sea, stars and moon, and even the overlapping multiverse, he incorporated all possibilities into his creation. This behavior itself is not only the recognition of the artist’s intrinsic power, but also an opening to a new dimension.