“Ink Garden” is comprised of 28 recent paintings by the artist, all of which contain one or more of his most prominent motifs: flowers, cursive calligraphy in gold, ancient characters, abstract landscape, and peacocks. Viewing these naturally inspired works as a whole, they appear at once ancient and contemporary. The strokes and arrangements of Gold Ancient Script (2010), for example, are very clearly born from a careful study of traditional techniques. Fiery Trees and Silver Flowers (2011) updates a similar composition by incorporating more complex colors and morphing the characters into individual plant-like shapes. Peacock—Magnificent (2013) then moves a step further, suggesting by its title that its loosely painted blobs are linked to the real-world referent of a peacock’s plumage.
As Wei’s work becomes more abstract, the influence of his calligraphically trained hand is increasingly apparent. His works connect the idea of modern symbology to the Chinese lettering system, effectively suggesting a universal language, united throughout cultures and history.
“Wei Ligang: Wei’s Ink Garden” is on view at Alisan Fine Arts, Hong Kong, Mar. 7–Apr. 18, 2015