Filled with iconography and steeped in the romanticism that Wei Wei’s paintings have become known for, the new works are inspired by seduction and the experience of love, personal memory and, more directly they emote the rhythms found in poetry. Meanwhile, the exhibition features a group of large scale floral paintings - which energetically fluctuate between the figurative and the abstracted. These pictures are inspired by the summer. They arise, still wet from the ocean’s spray and they reach out from the silver screen. Do Enjoy. The following text is written by the artist’s brother Alastair Wong.
I remember Faye’s delight when I gave her my tooth. Hers were cruelly kept in the hospital and since she had none of my milk, something of my wisdom would have to do.
Around the same time I went to Portugal—you know how summer days merge into one and how the specifics of time recess in the memory—I have always been afraid of the sea. I am a poor swimmer, yes, but it is more than that. The sea represents so much infinitude that I am afraid it’s cool, saline embrace will seduce and carry my ego, my self away. I had been feeling braver of late and so I fell for the sea, hoping it would hold me in turn. The touch of the Atlantic was not so gentle but, after gasping for air, it felt good; to be suspended in the unknowable otherness of the Sea. The water threatened every pore but I was still here and was still myself. And, as I lingered in the sea, I thought of everything that made me whole.
Faye had fallen in love and moved to Berlin to amass a trove of it. From this summer’s harvest, Faye has gorged upon the fruit of ripe feeling. She has savoured the abundant, liquor taste on the tickle of her toothsome tongue. Though we were now apart by some distance, I thought how Faye might be, even then, in water herself; immersed in the coolness of one of Berlin’s lakes which hum with life and with laughter for these little months.
Falling in love is something like the trepidation I felt toward the sea. You dip your toe in and decide the water’s too cold but—once you immerse yourself—you realise it isn’t so scary, the water’s fine and you are more yourself for your connection to others. The opposite is true of the cinema; going to the cinema is easy.
The cushy chairs hug you in their velveteen and, for a brief time, your ego escapes —if the film is good and true— into connection and into the stories of others. We weep in empathy and, perhaps, forget the self. Faye likens this tenderness to, ‘the infinite duvet of the canvas’ surface’, a space of potential, and of, ‘stuffing feathers into a pillow’. Her feelings apparate before you as a painting—a four-poster bed. Of course, she hopes you’ll get a good night’s rest but then, what dreams may come? Escape into sleep and the land that there unfolds is yours and yours alone.
If we stretch our arms out entirely, the span of our body is finite but love can stretch from sea to silver screen and further still. The sharp fall into salty tears, the duvet of the film and all that lies between.