In the spring of 2005, I visited Ningbo along with Ai Xuan, and Wang Yidong. Wu Wei drove us around in his orange car. At that time, Wu Wei gave me the strong impression that he was young, kind, and absolutely obsessed with the pursuit of art and had a clear artistic direction. At that time, he had completed his advanced studies in oil painting at the department of the Central Academy of Fine Arts, but his works did not seem to be aligned with any set of college rules. Wu Wei used refined brushwork, pastel shades and clear color graduations to imbue his paintings with vitality, exhibiting his own Jiangnan refreshing taste. Mainly his subject matters are still life, simple but elegant. After 2005, we have had the opportunity to meet every year, and our works have also participated in exhibitions together. In recent years, his works often appear in art magazines and at important art exhibitions. Now, compared to before, Wu Weis disposition has not changed, but his works can be said to be more mature. For me, the works of Wu Wei mutation impression is in the 2010 Times Cup - China Youth Realism Art Exhibition, his work De Chirico Square 1 participated in the exhibition and won the award for excellence. The composition in the painting is complete, using rigorous modeling, the use of black and grey colors is considered to be very good, and especially the characterization of the face and hands, great detail but not cumbersome. In this work he chose de Chirico works as his background, the background seems to be with the people who appear in front of a space, but the backgrounds perspective and light direction show that the background and characters are not in a space. It appears visual and has a sense of dislocation. In this painting, Wu Wei uses portrait works to convey that de Chirico works are empty and mysterious; he creates an originally ordinary portrait and endows it with more ideas and greatspirit. This is the charm of Wu Weis oil painting, and I like this kind of obvious allegorical works. I always have an idea for each creation. I think a good piece of art is one that makes viewers move beyond the image itself, and it is not that the idea of more is better, but within the value of the work, there should be some original thoughts, and a very good control of the overall scale, and it is this that stirs the viewers emotions.
Historically there is no shortage in the use of fables and stories in realistic painting. In many famous masters of the European and Italian renaissance, master painters such as Botticelli, Da Vinci, Titian, Durer, Bruegel and others, have used famous prophecies and stories in their atrtistic depictions. Their use of the background and characters is often placed in an incomplete real space, they tend to use the eyes to make figures emphasis space. This structural arrangement can either weaken the strength of the characters or enhance the background in the picture to bring an expressive force. The background is not completely attached to the characters, and the characters and background both contrast and complement each other, expressing a form of thoughts that bring balance and atmosphere, just as 1+1 is greater than 2, the art of expressive force within painting gives an invisible power to strengthen the end result.
In recent years, Wu Wei has used his creative thinking to complete a series of works. In this years new work When, Wu Wei puts the same people in different times, and then lets them gather in a visional stage, seeming to be in a play or singing a song of youth. These are Wu Wei set of rules to puzzle us, as he explained in his autobiography in the paper: My work as director a not a complicated drama This is the charm of Wu Weis oil painting, he uses his true affection to depict the real image, and through the real image he expresses the heartfelt feelings of the unreal and unknown. Through his works he is setting a puzzle, Wu Wei manipulates his audience into conjecture and thinking within a tacit state, and this seems to be an attempt to bring his adience on a discovery of the unknown adventure. From the artistic sense, Wu Weis creative thinking has shown great maturity, and it is this that generates a lot of imagination within his audience. Because he knows what it means to create artistic works in the unknown, but he also clearly knows everyones heart has its own unknown, but humananity itself is an allegory for the unknown, somewhat like the black holes of our universe, an inextricable maze.
Translated by Li Wu