Alisan Fine Arts is pleased to announce the opening of our third solo exhibition for the internationally renowned contemporary calligrapher Wei Ligang, Silent Mountains, Meandering Rivers, showcasing his latest fourteen Chinese ink and acrylic on paper works that he created specifically for this exhibition. In addition to his most iconic series, "Flower" series, "Peacock" series and "Contemporary Calligraphy" series, this time we specially added a new concept of "Structural Physics", with the vivid and vigorous brushstrokes signifying the circuitous and gentle thoughts of Chinese people. When talked about the inspiration of this show, Wei said, "This unique art form is as refreshing as a clear mountain stream, by creating a natural ecology in the metropolis of Hong Kong, the forgotten wild vines sprawling around the mountain streams would take shape anew."
Wei is best known for creating abstract paintings that merge traditional and modern calligraphy, with gold and heavy colours and multiple layers of ink as embellishments to give his paintings a strong contemporary look. Besides, Wei is also fascinated by Chinese traditional culture and has been a devoted supporter of the supreme standard of aesthetics in the Song Dynasty, "Yi Pin", which thoroughly illustrates the spirit of the universe, rather than just focusing on the physical appearance of the writing. His works opened a new page for the Oriental Abstract Art. This spirit-filled creating process can be seen in his latest flower paintings. He not only depicts the large chunk of blossoms creeping in the secluded valleys, but also highlights the elegance of the spirit hidden under the flowers. The works with peacock appear from the circular curves accompanied with the concepts of mathematics and physics, transforming into an abstract painting with well-designed geometric arrangements. As for the series of contemporary calligraphy, Wei continues to use the seal characters and cursive scripts to write ancient poems, making the entangled lines into his two classics, "Wei Square" and "Cursive Calligraphy in Gold and Ink".
For more than 30 years, from a mathematician to the pioneer of contemporary calligraphy, Wei has been constantly looking for inspirations and diligently delving into the masterpieces that depict supreme souls. In the development of contemporary art under the slogan of "challenging traditional aesthetics", Wei is an outstanding artist with unique approach in art. Last year, he had a monumental solo exhibition, "Universality," at the Chengdu Zhi Art Museum, which featured many of Wei's iconic calligraphy works, including "Cursive Calligraphy in Gold and Ink". We are also exhibiting six of his recently created "Cursive Calligraphy in Gold and Ink" and "Wei Square" in this exhibition. As early as 2002, Wei had already been recognized as an important propagator of contemporary Chinese calligraphy through the successful exhibition"Brushes with Surprise: The Art of Calligraphy in Modern China" held at the British Museum. In the catalogue published in conjunction with the exhibition, Professor Gordon S. Barrass, the curator of the British Museum said: "…one way in which Wei Ligang is unique is that he comes from a scientific background. His familiarity with some of the arcane concepts of mathematics has no doubt informed his rigorous efforts to turn Avant-Garde calligraphy into a purely abstract art". This contemporaneity with mathematical concepts integrate with Chinese calligraphy can be perceived in the calligraphy works, the "Peacock" series and physics themes, which are on display in this exhibition.
Wei Ligang, born in 1964 in Datong city, Shanxi Province, China, started learning Chinese opera and calligraphy with his father from early childhood. He studied mathematics at Tianjin Nankai University in 1981, and became a teacher of mathematics after graduation, during which time he began to study Fu Shan (1607-1684 painter and calligrapher in Ming dynasty and early Qing) calligraphy. In 1991, he graduated from an advanced course at Sha Menghai Calligraphy College in Ningbo, China. He moved to Beijing in 1995 and devoted himself to art creation. As a recipient of the 2005 Asian Cultural Council Fellowship for Visual Art, he went to New York for further study, where he visited various art galleries and studio of the famous American abstract artist, Brice Marden. He established the International Shuxiang Society in Beijing in 2011. Since the 1980s, Wei has almost 80 solo and group exhibitions around the world, including New York, London, Sydney, Seoul, Beijing, Shanghai, Hangzhou, Xi 'an, Chengdu, Hong Kong and Taipei. His works are collected by 30 major museums and commercial institutions, including the British Museum, the Asian Art Museum in San Francisco, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation in Seattle, the Museum of Cernuschi in Paris, Francois-Henri Pinault family in France, Credit Suisse in Switzerland, the National Art Museum of China in Beijing, and the National Museum of China, to name a few.
Alisan has worked with Wei Ligang since 2004 and held two solo exhibitions for him (2006, 2015). We included his works in the ACC Fellows group show in 2011 & 2018, Ink Asia 2015, and three times at Art Basel Hong Kong (2013,2015, 2018). In the gallery monograph Alisan Fine Arts Thirty-five Years, Wei wrote, “Alisan was the first gallery that I signed a contract with; it gave me affirmation, energy, and became the first judge of my talent, my first ‘Bo Le’*, the driving force behind my career’s global expansion.”(P.288)