The ink painting tradition, for Zhu Wei, is a process of renewal. It begins by abandoning traditional techniques completely, followed by considering and reflecting upon its principles thereafter. ‘Abandon’ here does not signify a rejection of the value of ink painting. Rather, as an artist living in contemporary times, it is Zhu Wei’s statement against the rigid structure and rules that pervade the ink painting tradition. For example, the strict limits imposed by subjects of traditional painting often inhibit the creative possibilities of such a unique medium.
As an artist leaves behind time-honored conventions of traditional painting, and subsequently revisit its elegance and quintessence anew, a new perspective to viewing traditional ink can be gleaned from this introspective. Zhu Wei’s almost two decades of experience in traditional painting has given him a voice that is critical, satirical, and at times, humorous, in evaluating art. Yet his attitude toward his own work remains assiduous and stoic as ever, constantly seeking to improve, which can be seen from the title of this series, The Ink and Wash Research Lecture. This shift in Zhu Wei’s motive of creating art, to one of creative destruction, is of the utmost importance in elevating his creative direction moving forward.
About Zhu Wei
Chinese, b. 1966, Beijing, China, based in Beijing, China