City Poetry

25 Nov 2018 – 20 Dec 2018

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YUI Gallery is very pleased to present Dawei Wang solo exhibition—City Poetry, which chronicles the artist’s experience in the United States over the past few years with the exception of Square, a piece that preceded his arrival. 


Wang’s artistic practice draws heavily on his observational tendencies. In earlier work, Wang depicted banal activities tied to daily life in Shanghai. Upon his arrival to the US, Wang suddenly found himself a foreigner and retreated into an introverted lifestyle as he grappled with feelings of alienation in a new environment. As an artist, he addresses the silence and isolation of contemporary urban life in the West. In this series of work, human figures are blurred and literally insecure in their occupation of physical space, reinforcing the tenuous quality of human existence. In terms of color, Wang employs multitudes of cool greys, blues, and greens in the background while utilizing hints of bright reds and oranges to suggest a false balance. This dramatic comparison of color represents Wang’s exploration of unity and the tension between falsehood and reality, action and stillness, the physical and waking world.

Through material experimentation, Wang similarly investigates another dichotomous tension. In this series, Wang incorporates elements from both Eastern and Western painting traditions, using bold acrylic paint to offset the ephemeral ink washes found in traditional Chinese painting. For instance, in Early Spring, the conflict between nature and modern life is captured through this contrast in media. In Two Securities, Wang employs collage techniques on security figures to dissolve the oppressive uniformed constraints on the body, imbibing a poetic sense of childishness in the overall picture. Technical experimentation and the artist’s playful spirit are intertwined. Through the distortion and “childish” reduction of individuals and environment into playful elements, Wang reconstructs urban life as dream like fragments of poetry.

Dawei Wang, born in 1984 in Shanghai, graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts at Shanghai Normal University in 2015. He has already participated in group exhibitions like the FQ Projects New Generation Art Group Exhibition, FQ Projects Monologue Group Exhibition,Shanghai Museum of Contemporary Art “In Between Reality and Fiction” Animamix Biennale, FQ Projects “Loners” solo show, group show of The Avant Grade Diaries Project Space in New York, as well as the Shanghai International Contemporary Art Fair, Art Stage Singapore, Art021 and Sixteenth Annual Los Angeles Art Show Los Angeles.    

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Dawei Wang


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