Over the past 30 years, artist Guan Wei has developed a distinctive style and personal language of symbols and metaphors that explore his Chinese cultural heritage and many influences of the West. Working across painting, sculpture and site-specific installation, his reflections upon the human condition engage with critical contemporary issues, including climate change, questions of identity, migration and exile.
This exhibition brings together 4 works from the MCA Collection. Works range from significant suites of early works on paper, which look at life and the political landscape in China in the late 1980s, through to the large-scale mural painting Feng Shui, which is concerned with a harmonious relationship between all living things and the planet. The more recent Paper War, comprising of animated video and an accompanying work on paper, explores war as an experience mediated and understood through symbols and signs.
Guan Wei was born in Beijing, China, in 1957 and graduated from the Department of Fine Arts, Beijing Capital University in 1986. He first came to Australia in 1989, when invited to take up an artistic residency at the Tasmanian School of Art in Hobart. He returned for further residencies at the Tasmanian School of Art (1990), Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney (1992) and Canberra School of Art, Canberra (1993), and settled permanently in Australia in 1993. Since 2008, he has divided his time between Sydney and Beijing, where he maintains a studio and produces his large-scale paintings and sculptural works.
Curator: Manya Sellers