Yuewei Vivien Zhang — Recent Works
Posted on July 2, 2012
Yuewei Vivien Zhang uses masses of brush strokes and large canvases, asking the audience to identify objects of their imaginations and reflect on cultural shifts.
My current paintings are made to operate on three levels.
Firstly, I’d like my audience to see in my paintings masses of brush marks, seas of statics, but sometimes a vessel, a basket, or an object of their own imagination.
Secondly, I’d like my audience to seek for hints that would allow them to identify the actual objects portrayed in my works.
Finally, I’d like my audience, upon further reflection, to become aware of cultural shifts they’ve just experienced through looking at my work.
I grew up in various places — from China to Kenya, then Thailand, and am now living in the UK. From this experience came my growing desire to reclaim my original culture — Chinese culture — from subjects of immediate interest to me. Recently, by exploiting the structure of a familiar motif, my paintings have been reduced to abbreviations of marks, in order to achieve the essential qualities I work for in a painting — “the powerful” and “the bizarre”, and a visually striking image. This reduction — a result of my continuing re-examination of the issues around displacement, dispora, and the use of culturally-specific motifs in artworks — is also a direct reflection of my declining exclusive obsession with culturally-specific motifs, and growing confidence in the painterly process and what my paintings can achieve.