Stux Gallery is pleased to present a solo exhibition of the Chinese born painter Wei Dong. Wei Dong, who was born in Inner Mongolia, China, moved to the United States in 1991. A personal obsession with the female body is one of many of the complex interests of the artist.
Growing up in China under the watchful eye of Mao’s red guard, sexual fantasies and freedoms were forcibly repressed. Socialist realism was the standard fair in the art academies of the time, and as a result, any hint of sexual or erotic expression was taboo. Upon entering the United States in 1991, Wei Dong’s preoccupation with the root of erotic desires as a young adult were given free reign over his canvases, resulting in grandiose explorations of the flesh. As apparent in the current show, in these new works, the matured artist practices “self expression with restraint.”
In the artist's words, "I paint others’ faces and bodies, but it’s mostly a very personal experience... about my perception of other people, my own feelings. I even see myself in certain figures.”
The paintings on view at Stux, with color palettes that recall 15th and 16th century Italian painting, feature for the first time some Western looking faces in addition to the Eastern faces that populate Wei Dong’s works. This new interest can be attributed to the artist’s consistent exposure to the consumer-based culture of the United States by way of fashion magazines and newspapers. It is the artist’s intention to create a new visual language consisting of disparate individual sources, similar, in a way, to how individual Chinese characters convey a meaning beyond their uniqueness as images.
A fully illustrated color catalogue, titled WEI DONG: SPRINGTIME, will accompany the exhibition. The catalogue includes an interview by Joe Martin Hill, a contributing critic for Art in America and Art Asia Pacific. Joe Hill is currently on the team supporting Robert Storr in the preparation of the Venice Biennale, opening in June 2007.