Download available works by Wen Wu
The Chinese painter Wen Wu (b. 1978 Qing Dao) graduated from Tsinghua University, Beijing, having been tutored
by Chen Dan Qing, the most influential art educator in China.
Wu's paintings counter the commercialisation of art production in today’s China, the sole aim of her canvases being aesthetic - primarily the representation of beauty. Her work breaks with the politically orientated Social Realist style, popular from 1950-1970, toward a more poetic or ‘literary’ neo- realism taking its cue from Western sources, in her case everything from 19C French plein air romanticism through the English Pre-Raphaelites and the Victorian painters to the Pre-WWII School of Paris.
In Chinese language systems, symbols or 'characters' depict the often monosyllabic words as pictograms or ideograms. Wen Wu takes the idea to its literal conclusion by using the physical shapes of these 'syllables' to present them as human figures. Two hardcover books placed side by side become 'Adam & Eve’' a woman's body set within a paper fan is 'The Original Force of Creation'. A young girl's hand emerging from a folded edition becomes 'My Roving Desires'.
Each small painting is figurative though the spirit of the work appears abstract. Pools of colour almost consume the subject within a world of shadows. Ochre and cerise fill both background and foreground while the execution of the image; the instinctive brushstrokes, the body shapes and also the body language of the models within these tabletop objects have an indefinable nostalgic quality.