My body of work, whether painting or sculptures, reflect my Chinese roots, my culture, my contact with the American culture and the world I inhabit. In 2011, I chose to make Rockland, Maine, my home in America.
While I was trained in traditional Chinese painting, I chose to pursue contemporary oil painting in the 1990s, becoming a full-time artist after moving to Beijing from Northeast China in the mid-1990s. My works have been shown on several occasions at the National Art Museum of China (NAMOC), in various exhibitions around China and in Hong Kong, in Germany and the United States where I earned my MFA in 2004.
Various events such as the 9-11 attacks in 2001, political events after 2016 and Covid 19 in 2020 have had a big effect on my thoughts and feelings, such as the lack of my ability to visit my mother in China and the shut down of normal life in the U.S. during the Covid pandemic. This turmoil is reflected in my recent works.
During the COVID-19 outbreak, and during my time in quarantine, I came to wonder: What would be meaningful for me to do at home as an artist? My response was a series (35 pieces) of small paintings on paper, using images of trees, houses, water and people from traditional Chinese paintings to create new abstract paintings that idealize the images along with other series of works with different forms. I paint the images in the traditional way with Chinese brush, ink and wash techniques. Then I come back to them with another layer to paint the images with pastels to create abstract images on top: layer-by-layer until I’m satisfied. I am currently re-exploring traditional Chinese paintings, especially those featuring Song Dynasty concepts, which I intend to use as I deepen my involvement with this series during my residency.
website : http://www.wangnanfei.com