<strong>Tian Wei</strong>, <em>Soul</em> (detail), 2017. Acrylic on canvas, 200 x 200 cm.<strong>Tian Wei</strong>, <em>Red</em> (detail), 2011.
Acrylic on canvas,
298 x 177 cm.<strong>Tian Wei</strong>, <em>Gaze</em>, 2017. Iridescent acrylic on canvas, 93 x 150 cm.<strong>Tian Wei</strong>, <em>Sexy</em>, 2017. Fluorescent acrylic on canvas, 93  x 150 cm.

TIAN WEI

Tian Wei.
Photo: © Jonathan Greet, 2014.
Tian Wei, To be - or not to be, 2015. Stainless steel,
16.5 x 50.3 x 25.5 cm. Edtion of 8.


Both theoretically and formally, Tian Wei’s work constructs a bridge between things that appear as dyadic opposites, binary poles or complementary pairs. This perspective of Yin and Yang is deeply embedded in Chinese thinking, and the artist’s frequent reference to Classic texts such as the I Ching (The Book of Changes) and Tao Te Ching appear as quotations in minute script patterning the background upon which larger semi-abstract cursive shapes are painted. On trying to read these lines as Chinese characters, however, anyone familiar with Chinese poetry, painting or philosophy is bound to be frustrated, since the conundrum of interpreting the meaning of the flowing shapes can only be resolved in English. The lines, in fact, spell out simple English nouns and adjectives such as ‘Sexy’, ‘Light’ and ‘Soul.’ These carefully chosen words give the viewer access to the artist’s lived experience of both eastern and western spheres.

Tian Wei left China for Hawaii, in 1986 to pursue a career in the arts. Upon completing his MFA in Hawaii in 1990, he subsequently settled in California. After years of travelling back and forth between America and China, he has been based in Beijing since 2011. October Gallery held Tian Wei’s first solo exhibition in 2014 and a second in 2018. Tian Wei was Artist-in-Residence at the Getty Research Institute 2017-2018 residency programme, which explored the theme ‘Iconoclasm and Vandalism’.

 

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SELECTED WORKS





 

TIAN WEI

Born in 1955, Xi’an, China. Lives and works in Beijing, China.

1990    MFA, University of Hawaii, Mānoa, USA
Solo Exhibitions
2018- 19   Tian Wei, October Gallery, London, United Kingdom
2014   Tian Wei, October Gallery, London, United Kingdom
2012    Mind - Tian Wei, MOCA Shanghai, Shanghai, China
2008   Oil paintings by Tian Wei, Guangdong Museum of Art, Guang Zhou, China
(Curated by: Fan Di'an , Director of the National Art Museum of China)
2007   National Art Museum of China, Beijing, China
(Curated by: Fan Di'an, Director of the National Art Museum of China)
1992   Municipal Gallery, City Culture Affairs Dept, Puebla, Mexico
    Brannstein/Quay Gallery, San Francisco, California, USA.
1990   From Mainland China to Los Angeles: Wei, Tian Painting and Drawings from 1980-1990
Armory Center for the Arts, California, USA (Curated by: Josine Ianco- Starrel, former Director of the Municipal Art Gallery of Los Angeles)
Group Exhibitions
2020   Atmospheres; Artists of the Transvangarde, October Gallery, London, UK
2019   Dream No Small Dream: Celebrating 40 Years of the Transvangarde, October Gallery, London, UK
Present Moment, October Gallery, London, United Kingdom
2018   Artists and their books/Books and their Artists, Getty Center, Los Angles, USA
Transvangarde, October Gallery, London, UK
2017   Transvangarde, October Gallery, London, UK
Asian Art in London, with October Gallery, London, UK
Abu Dhabi Art, Abu Dhabi, UAE, with October Gallery, London, UK 
2016   Chinese Whispers, Kunst Museum, Bern, Switzerland
Abu Dhabi Art, Abu Dhabi, UAE, with October Gallery, London, UK 
2015   Abu Dhabi Art, Abu Dhabi, UAE, with October Gallery, London, UK
2014   Secret Signs: Calligraphy in Chinese Contemporary Art, Deichtorhallen Museum, Hamburg, Germany
Original HomeJia PingWa Museum of Culture and Arts, Xi'an, China
ART14, London, UK with October Gallery, London, UK 
2008    Butterfly Dream, MOCA Envisage II, MOCA Shanghai, Shanghai, China
    Material links: Contemporary Art Exhibition, MOCA Shanghai, Shanghai, China 
    Mahjong: Contemporary Chinese Art from the ‘Sigg Collection’, UC Berkeley Art Museum, Berkeley, California, USA
    Mahjong: Contemporary Chinese Art from the ‘Sigg Collection’, Joan Miro Foundation, Barcelona, Spain
2006   Entry Gate: Chinese Aesthetics of Heterogeneity, MOCA Shanghai, Shanghai, China.
    Living Furniture, BUSAN BIENNALE, Busan, Korea
1992   Galleria Finarte, Nagoya-city, Japan
    International Mail Exhibition, Armory Center for the Art, Pasadena, California, USA 1992     Painterly Painting, Armory Center for the Art, Pasadena, California, USA
1991   Exhibition 3, ART Rental and Sales Gallery, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles, California, USA
    Los Angeles Area Contemporary Artist Exhibition (Organized by Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce, Medical Awards, Pasadena, California, USA
1989   Hawaii Chinese Artist Show, AmFac Exhibition Hall, Honolulu, Hawaii, USA
    Annual Eastern Arts Festival, AmFac Exhibition Hall, Honolulu, Hawaii, USA
1971   Five Northwestern Province Fine Arts Exhibition, Shan’xi Museum, Xi’an, China
Awards
1993-94    Cultural Grant, Cultural Affairs Department, City of Los Angeles, California, USA
1989   First Prize, Hawaii Art Annual Competition, Amfac Exhibition Hall, Hawaii, USA
1988   First Prize, Annual Eastern Arts Festival, AmFac Exhibition Hall,  Hawaii, USA
1982   First Prize, Shanxi State University Student’s Calligraphy Competition, Xi’an city, China
1982    Second Prize national university student’s calligraphy Competition, Beijing, China
1971   Youngest Artist Award, Five Northwestern Province Fine Arts Exhibition, Shan’xi  Museum, Xi’an, China
Collections
2013   MOCA Shanghai, Shanghai, China
2008   Uli Sigg collection, Switzerland
2007   National Art Museum of China, Beijing, China
2006   Uli Sigg collection, Switzerland
1991   Art Division, City of Santa Monica, Santa Monica, California, USA
1989   Hawaii State Foundation on Culture & Art, Honolulu, Hawaii, USA
1988   Hawaii State Foundation on Culture & Art, Honolulu, Hawaii, USA

OCTOBER GALLERY ARTISTS