Wei Jia
Illuminating The Endless Night
2008 06
Illuminating The Endless Night is the first solo exhibition in Taiwan by Wei Jia, the winner of The Young Artist Of The Year – AAC2007 Art China Yearly Selection of The Most Influentials. Wei Jia, who is far from prolific, has produced a series of acrylic paint (8 pieces) on canvas, and eight pieces of engraving (including the newly produced in 2007). 2007 – 2008 was the most prolific period for Wei Jia. Many of the artists of the 70s, often regarded as market driven or popular art artists, have been selected by quite a few exhibition organizers across the world, Wei Jia etc. being the outstanding example. The exhibitions include: National Art Museum of China, Shanghai Art Museum, Shanghai Contemporary Art Museum, Guangdong Art Museum, etc. Compared to Wei Jia’s flat and decorative style of the early days, his current works seem more constrained yet the brushwork is more versatile and unrestrained. He uses acrylic paint, which is known to dry more quickly than others, and yet he can produce a heavily piled effect typical of oil paintings. The expressive brushwork, often seen in his paintings, seems easy and unstrained, but in fact requires meticulous skills and carefulness. In the series of Illuminating The Endless Night, Wei Jia depicted in a few paintings a dim light in the dark night, glimmering through a tent. Traces of paint trickling are abundant. There are so many of them, as if showing the endless thoughts of the artist himself. From his earlier works to the more recent ones, a change of Wei Jia’s personal life could be observed – the light and sorrowful emotions became constrained and deeper; the dark haired boy in the pictures transformed into today’s white haired youth. The boys in Wei Jia’s paintings always have big eyes, whereas in his recent ones, you will find the eyes are filled with more tales of life. His latest art works can no longer be interpreted as ‘a generation of cartoon’ or ‘cruel youth’. Whether it be techniques, or artistic ideology and affection, he has developed significantly. In the past, Wei Jia, together with the artists of the same generation, have always been seen as the ‘children’ of the Chinese art market. Today, he is more like a juvenile full of spirits. In the course of finding themselves, they have in fact become the new trend in contemporary arts, and have created a new era. Perhaps this is the reason why Wei Jia has been ranked as the most influential Chinese young artist of the year.