Wei ligang


Chinese
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上炉 - Hearth
2012

金魔块 (Golden Magic Block)
2013

佛龛 - Shrine
2014

About The Artist

Born in Datong, Shanxi in 1964, Wei Ligang is known as one of the greatest ink masters of our time. Closely connected to the Chinese ink and calligraphy movement since its expansion from the mainland to the international sphere, the artist has been noted as one of the pioneers of abstraction in the field, melding Eastern and Western influence into a new generation of expressionism without eluding the tradition of its artistic past. In 1999, Wei Ligang was one of the organizers of the iconic Bashu Parade, the first exhibition of modern calligraphy held in Chengdu that notoriously launched a storm of criticism within traditional art circles and major intellectual controversies concerning Chinese calligraphy- a discussion that continues to the present day. Widely identified by his characteristic ‘Wei Squares’ or ‘Magic Blocks’, as they are sometimes called, the award-winning artist has exhibited the world over, with numerous global publications and collections to his name, including the Chinese National Museum of Art, The British Museum, and the Boston Museum of Art.

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Born to a family of performance art professionals, Wei Ligang first began the study of calligraphy at the tender age of nine, quickly emerging as a prodigy of artistic brilliance. In 1985, Ligang graduated from the prestigious Nankai University in Tianjin as a mathematics major, after which he taught mathematics in Taiyuan, eventually moving to the teaching of calligraphy. In 1995, the artist moved to Beijing to join a bohemian artist’s colony Yuan Ming Yuan; it was during this time that he helped establish Beijing’s first gallery specializing in modern calligraphy- Song Feng Yuan. Bolstered by his background and interest in mathematics, Wei Ligang constructed his iconic ‘Wei Squares’ – a formulaic base to his art that is inspired by the framework of squares used for practice by students of calligraphy. An abstract development of the traditional script, Ligang expresses that this particular style is a ‘magical’ transformation of the ancient Chinese script where every block of text becomes a unit of its own unique perception. Thus, the style of Magical Blocks is not only an aesthetic modulation, but a deconstruction of calligraphy into an expressionist form of meaning and cultural element.  

Creating art that subtly combines the elements of Chinese painting and calligraphy, Wei Ligang’s brushstrokes range from bold strokes to transient greys while always respecting the integrity and tenacity of the line. Apart from his calligraphic art, the artist is also known for his ‘gold-ground’ paintings where individual brushstrokes remain indiscernible- creating a kind of eastern aesthetic counterpart to Western action painting and abstract expressionism. A scholar of both Western and Eastern technique, Ligang believes that the line is what lies at the base of Eastern abstraction. The semantic function of the calligraphic words have been functionally erased, he claims, selecting characters for his work as materials, not meaning. “I am investigating lines”, the artist says, “Just like a material scientist studying the properties of wood or soil, or the elements of a microcosm — the lines are my material, and I encounter the character on that level.” Wei Ligang continues to test the boundaries of eastern abstraction to this day, steadfastly leading the sphere of Chinese ink into the modern-day world of contemporary art.



Collections

Artist Commune, Hong Kong
Bank of Macau
He Xiangning Art Gallery
Yachang GroupAlisan Fine Arts, Hong Kong
Rotary Club
Beijing Capital Club, and Daming Hall, Beijing, China
Buckman Museum
Asian Art Museum, San Francisco, USA
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, USA
Bank of Switzerland
The International Education Fund
The Swiss Chamber of Commerce in China
China Red Cross  Chendu International Convention and Exhibition Centre
Xunyao Gallery of the Art of Chinese Characters, China
Bizhen Art Fund Today Art Museum, Beijing, China
The British Museum, England

 

Exhibitions

2013
Essence of Contemporary Chinese Art by Alisan Fine Arts, Art Basel in Hong Kong, Hong Kong Convention & Exhibition Centre, Hong Kong

2012
The Way of Writing - Zendai Contemporary Art Exhibition Hall, Shanghai, China
Natural Mind: 2012 Italy-China Art Biennale -Villa Reale, Milan

2011
Selected Asian Cultural Council Fellows: Then and Now, Works by Wei Ligang, Wei Qingji, Zhang Jianjun, Asian Cultural Council Hong Kong & Alisan Fine Arts, Hong Kong
Expression of Chinses Contemporary Art - Today Art Museum, Beijing
Tranquil Game - Gallery 49, Beijing

2010
New Ink Art, Alisan Fine Arts, ART HK 10, Hong Kong International Art Fair, Hong Kong Exhibition & Convention Centre, Hong Kong

2009
Hong Kong International Arts & Antiques Fair, Hong Kong Exhibition & Convention Centre, Hong Kong

2008
“Wei Ligang: The New Ink Painting” Goedhuis Contemporary Gallery, New York, USA (solo)2007“Oriental Totem: Wei Ligang Ink & Wash Exhibition”, National Art Museum of China, Beijing, China (solo)2006Cooperative artist of “Cursive—Yin Mei's Modern Dance”, New York City University, NY, USA
Modernity in Ink and Wash: Exhibition of Works by Artists of SongZhuang Ink and Wash Union,
“Chinese Ink Painting during the Past 30 Years”, Nanjing, China
“Long Menzhen Modern Calligraphy”, Luo Yang Art Museum, Henan, China
“New Works by Wei Ligang”, Alisan Fine Arts, Hong Kong (solo)
“China in Ink & Wash: Exhibition of Wei Ligang's Works”, Shanghai Art Museum, Shanghai, China (solo)

2005
“Ink and Diffusion – International Arts Exhibition of Modern Calligraphy”, Seoul, South Korea
China Academy of Arts, “Calligraphy is not Calligraphy- International Modern Calligraphy Exhibition”,
“Crossing Boundaries: Works by Asian Cultural Council Fellows 2005”, Lee Garden, Hong Kong
“The Act of Writing and Non-writing: The Open Space for Chinese Calligraphy. International Exhibition

2004
“Chinese Characters As a Resource”, Sydney, Australia
“Chinese Characters: A Confusing Situation”, Today Art Museum, Beijing, China
“2 Ink Brushes, Chinese Calligraphy Bi-exhibition - Artist Commune, Hong Kong
“On the Journey”, He Xiang Ning Art Gallery, Shenzhen, China (solo)

2003
“Migration in Space”, Red Gate Gallery, Beijing, China
“International Contemporary Art of Ink”, Xi’an,China
“New Experiences in Chinese Characters and Its Writing During the Past Twenty Years”, Artist Commune, Hong Kong

2002
“The Art of Calligraphy in Modern China”, British Museum, London, England
Refuse Reticence - Ren Club, Beijing, China

2001
An Exhibition of Contemporary Behavioral and Decorative Art, “0℃ Project”, Beijing, China
A Four Painters’ Exhibition, “The Dimensionality of Chinese Characters”, Beijing, China

2000
“The International Calligraphy Literature”, Taiwan Museum of Art, Taiwan
Group exhibition of oriental abstract paintings, Creation Gallery, Beijing, China


Videos


Qin Feng
Various Artists
Internationally renowned and critically acclaimed contemporary Ink artist, Qin Feng, expounds on the cultural relevance, philosophies behind and major achievements of his art. Steeped in cultural polars and a medley of styles and mediums, watch the artist delve into the intricacies of his complex work, and what they stand for in the times to come.

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