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Wang Aiying

Painting for Wang Ai Ying is an adventure in which intuition is her guidance. She employs her paint in a manner that is untamed and unpredictable - each line finding its own path. The array of dazzling colours is layered and intertwined creating faces and objects that appear wild and distorted. There is something rather grotesque, even monstrous, about the figures in her paintings. Wang portrays close-ups of her subjects, often with only part of the face and body fitting onto the canvas, making her work all the more intense and concentrated. And as if she wishes to gets to the core of the human, to reach beyond what is obvious, Wang appears not to paint the surface skin of the body/face but rather the flesh behind it with its bloody colours and raw textures. The result is at once beautiful, disturbing and powerful.

Wang believes that the art she produces should capture a contemporary feel, and secondly, that rebelling against knowledge, reason and rational thought allows the artist to achieve the most genuine and blissful state of creativity. So while many artists avoid veering towards what is arbitrary and random, the essence of Wang’s style is inspired by this notion. Wang does not even know what the end result of her work will turn out to look like when she starts, she just follows her feelings to create the lines, and the paintings are born, almost out of entropy.

On meeting Wang Ai Ying, one would never imagine that such a sweet, gentle woman would produce such twisted characters. The artist explains: “My works focus on the environment in China today. Because of the rapid expansion of cities, countless workers from the countryside pile into the urban areas, creating overcrowded and unregulated conditions. Seeing this non-beautiful visual effect, I traitorously use unconventional material to express the special dynamic on the workers’ faces. Vivid colors squeezed into each other and interknit with the figurative shapes, anatomizing the red nerves and intense muscles. They are twisted and ugly.”

Wang’s work is courageous and bold, crying out for attention and demanding judgment. Wang’s creativity is not affected by what people make of her work, and she thrives on the risks she takes. The artist has even used unconventional media in her work – one time she used spoiled soy sauce and paint! Undoubtedly, Wang’s paintings are an acquired taste but what no one can deny is the passion that oozes from each painting and the conviction this artist has in her own creative spirit.

Wang Ai Ying was selected as one of the top 20 emerging artists in China in the 2005 Dragonair Emerging Chinese Artist Awards. Jury members of the important panel for the art award included Gerard Goodrow, Director of Art Cologne, and Jeff Kelley, Curator of the Asian Art Museum in San Francisco. Wang was awarded the “People’s Choice Award” at the event.