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Wisdom, Knowledge and Humour

Spellbound  Guan Wei

Renowned artist Guan Wei will be speaking on The Three Elements in My Work - Wisdom Knowledge Humour this week.

He will appear at the UTAS Tasmanian School of Art in Hunter Street this Sunday as part of the annual Open Day, giving a special art forum and then later joining Professor Jonathan Holmes for a floor talk at an Alumni event in the Plimsoll Gallery.

Wei has previously been an artist-in-residence at the School of Art.

“I try to emphasise three elements in my work: wisdom, knowledge and humour.

“I believe people need wisdom to choose from the many different cultural traditions that confront us every day; knowledge is the key to open our minds to the diversity of the world; and humour is necessary to comfort our hearts,” he said.

“I also like to tell stories in my work.”

Wei was born in 1957 in Beijing, China. In 1989, three years after graduating from the Department of Fine Arts at Beijing Capital University, Wei came to Australia to take up an artist-in-residence at the School of Art.

He was invited to undertake two further residencies: one at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Sydney (1992), the other at the Canberra School of Art, Australian National University (1993).

Since then he has obtained many grants, including Australia Council’s grant for Greene St New York studio in 2003, Cite International des Art Paris in 2007 & Fellowship in 2008-2009. In 2008 he set up a studio in Beijing.

Now he lives and works in both Beijing and Sydney.

Wei’s work has a profoundly felt, if implicitly ironic, moral dimension. In their complex symbolic form, his subjects potently embody current social and environmental dilemmas.

They are equally the product of his rich cultural repertory of symbols and his informed socio-political awareness and art-historical knowledge.

Wei has held 45 solo exhibitions, including, most recently, ‘Spellbound’ Guan Wei 2011 at He Xiang Ning OCT Contemporary Art Centre Shenzhen; ‘Cloud in the sky, Water in the bottle’ Shumu Art Space, Beijing 2010.

He has been included in numerous important contemporary exhibitions internationally.

Craftsman House published Wei’s monograph in 2006.

He has won several awards, including the 2002 Sir John Sulman Prize, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Australia. His work has been held in major public collections and numerous university, corporate and private collections internationally.

Photo: Spellbound – Guan Wei 2011 Solo exhibition at OCAT Shenzhen China. Painting installation.

Published on: 23 Aug 2011 3:38pm