The fastest, the highest, the strongest are the superlatives that came to describe the pace of development in modern China since the opening reforms. The speed at which this huge and ancient nation is changing is not only rare in any other country, but it is unprecedented in China itself.
It is against this general backdrop that lives of the current generations are unfolding. With the solo exhibition “Entangled in Duality”, Hu Weiqi makes an attempt to unveil how deep of an imprint this miraculous, eye-catching and lighting-fast social, political and cultural transition has left on the mentalities, consciousness and beliefs of Chinese people.
The art of Hu Weiqi, like the art of many is often a reply to the reality. It is no wonder that in a confused and unsettling environment his reply is rather ambivalent. His visual thinking is marked by considerations of a social nature for he envisions the utopia of a harmony between man and his environment.
The artist saturates his works with dualities. The one that strikes you most is the depiction of red and blue solid monumental color fields. Set against overall grey patchy or loosely brushed backgrounds, they suggest infinity, achieving impressive effects on contrast. By choosing one color for each of his color fields, the artist explores the tranquility of total abstraction. He lets himself detach from the visible exterior world, but doesn't hermetically seal from it. The artist creates dramatic landscapes with the dense canopy of gunmetal grey above, slashed with ragged clouds, which seem to foreshadow an immanent storm.
Instead of turning completely to an abstract language he negotiates between the expressive, wide and sweeping brushstrokes, areas of impasto paint, images on eggshells and the expanses of saturated thin or thick fields of color.
Hu Weiqi fills his red with hopefulness, thoughts of happiness and beauty, while blue - with a cold reality of things poisoned with fear, stress and ugliness. Seemingly opposite moods that collide in Hu Weiqi’s paintings are at the same time interconnected and complimentary. As they interrelate they create a symbiosis where one gives rise to the other. In this color metaphor, he advocates tireless pursuit of somewhat idealistic but bright future devoid of anxiety, doubts and troubles.
He draws a hard and fast line between opposing notions, and yet in his paintings the confronting powerful streams are not isolated from one another but they collide to form a synthesis that makes up a painterly metaphor for the reality his society lives in.
The solo show “Entangled in Duality” by Hu Weiqi, reinforces the fact that despite the tides of reoccurring destructions and restorations, the transition that instigated social upheavals has also activated the process of an unprecedented cultural revival.