"The Invisible Forms" that opens on May 25th, 2018 in Shanghai Art+ Gallery is Zhang Wei’s first solo exhibition in Shanghai. After his post-graduation from the Mural Department of CAFA (Central Academy of Fine Arts, Beijing) in 2014, where he was studying under the tutelage of Chen Wenji, Zhang Wei spent four years of tireless artistic exploration and adjustment. His latest paintings in “The Invisible Forms” are the result of the past four years of work. They show both continuance and progress in the artist’s thinking. The overall tone is soft, light, and there is always this unique tension generated from the strict arrangement of the painting and randomly generated texture on the surface. There is also a breakthrough in the arrangement of the painting as Zhang dismissed the only central object of the tableau. The viewers’ way of observing the painting is now altered as Zhang moved the line of sight and focal point to the periphery of the tableau. Viewers are able to achieve a different experience of appreciating the works as they change the distance and perspective.
Perhaps it is not accurate to define Zhang Wei’s art as abstract. As Gilles Deleuze puts it in Francis Bacon: The Logic of Sensation, “there are two ways to go beyond the concrete, abstraction and visualization. Paul Cezanne gave the latter way a simple name: feeling.” Indeed, Zhang Wei’s works are separated from the concrete form and representational expression. But what about thinking of it this way: when familiar visual experience no longer works, a search for the “potential” and the “invisible” begins - whether regarding the imagination of abstract space concepts, or senses other than sight. It is these “invisible forms” that may be moving towards a third way between abstract and concrete. So, we can ask ourselves, do we rely too much on vision when we view artworks?
About the artist: Zhang Wei (张伟) is a Beijing-based artist born in 1984 in Pingdingshan, Henan Province, China. He graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts and Master of Fine Arts from the Mural Painting Department of the Central Academy of Fine Arts (CAFA) in Beijing in 2010 and 2014respectively. Using mineral paints on canvas, his works trick the eye into seeing shadows and depth with soft gradients and shading. His geometric compositions are based on the idea of folding, overlapping, and layering, creating dimensionality that lies somewhere between the planar and spatial.
Zhang Wei has participated in a number of group exhibitions in Beijing, Shanghai, Hong Kong and Tokyo, as well as in international art fairs such as Art Central Hong Kong and Tokyo Art Fairs. The works of a young artist have received recognition internationally when entered a prestigious White Rabbit Art Collection in Sydney, Australia.