From Stars to Soul

Art Life , Exhibitions Mar 16, 2015 No Comments

em>From Sharne Wolff

While much art focuses on extremes of one kind or another, the uniqueness of Guan Wei is his capacity to combine the worst kind of bleakness and lack of hope with absolute pleasure and untold joy. From Stars to Soul provides a further example of the Chinese Australian artist’s unique insider-outsider take on his respective home countries – although on this occasion he’s made a departure from some of his better-known imagery. In the exhibition catalogue the artist suggests that his latest output reflects a need “to capture the transient images of my subconscious …I completely rely on my recording my inner inspiration at the time about the ineffable experience that is existence.”


In this large show two suites of paintings going by the titles Extension and Yellow Square depict Chinese calligraphic-like figures falling and floating in fantastic landscapes. Using a traditional palette of blue on white, distinctive sets of vessels and head-like shapes on porcelain are intended to encourage the viewer to “free our hearts from this increasingly frenetic lifestyle”. Even more liberating are Guan Wei’s theatrical bronze figures, each of which juggles or plays with a cloud. Made by the artist in the “pursuit of happiness” it’s just too hard for the viewer not to jump on board.

Until March 29
Martin Browne Contemporary, Paddington
Pic: Guan Wei Extension 12, 2014, ?Acrylic on canvas, 130 x 162 cm (triptych). Courtesy of the artist and Martin Browne Contemporary.

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Sharne Wolff

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