Please join us for this intriguing gallery show at our next Art Walk gallery opening, November 3rd, from 5-8 pm. The show will be on display at the Art Loft through the month of November.
Tension – The Work of Nanfei Wang
Because of my travels between and within the United States, China, and Europe over the last decade, I have deepened my commitment in my work to exploring how changes in contemporary life affect individuals and their environments.
The advances of contemporary civilization, particularly in China, dazzle us with constant change: gleaming new skyscrapers that replace temples and single-family residences; wide boulevards named after what were once foot trails or winding alleys; and high-speed trains speeding through once tranquil rural valleys. This kind of change leaves no society, no individual untouched.
Modernization and urbanization has brought hope for a better life to hundreds of millions of people around the world. Still, sometimes there is disquiet, often suffered alone by people who find the rapid change surrounding them unsettling, perhaps even corrupting. As old cultures wane, some cling to the consolation they once found in them, creating a constant tension between the old and the new, the winners and the losers, the weak and the powerful. I find this constant push and pull fascinating, and a consistent theme in my art. Some people take change for granted; I don’t. Still, there are many different ways to confront it, including humor, which I employ.
In June 2011, I established a studio on edge of Rockland Harbor in Rockland, Maine, moving there permanently in 2014. I live in a century-old New England federal-style house; its surroundings intrigue me and feed a strong sense of curiosity. The fog that envelops the house and a nearby lighthouse, the humid air, wormy apples, spring and summer flowers and even the lobster traps and sailboats captivate me. In summer, though a small town, it’s a city of strangers from around New England and the world: amazing and exciting. All this inspired a new series of paintings along my consistent theme.
Maine’s beauty and serenity contrasts with the noise and constant bustle of Beijing; they are two completely different worlds, but both feed my sense of being an external “I” viewing the world, observing my surroundings and considering people’s lives. Both environments give rise to, perhaps, unreasonable feelings that I will continue to explore. I appreciate the hustle and bustle of Beijing, but Maine is a place where nature forms a dream world for me. Living in any one place provokes thoughts of another that I miss and love and that I can neither dismiss nor avoid. Seeing a lot makes me want to see more. My intent is clear.
Nanfei will host her next workshop ‘Chinese Painting and Traditional Tea Ceremony’ on December 9th at 1:00 pm. Register here for the class.
About the Artist – Nanfei Wang
Born in the Tonghua City, Jilin Province, People’s Republic of China, Nanfei Wang is a trained artist with a fine arts degree from Northeast Normal University, Changchun, Jilin, and an MFA in painting, drawing, and sculpture from the University of North Texas in Denton, Texas. She has shown is numerous exhibitions and has received many awards for her work in a variety of mediums.
Nanfei has been painting since she was 5 years old when a family friend bought her an item she had pointed to in a store. What she thought was a red wrapping of candy turned out to be watercolor paint. The friend bought the red color and all other basic colors, along with a paint brush.
Please visit her website at http://www.wangnanfei.com
My artwork is guided by my interest in everyday human relationships and human reactions. It’s about myself, my center. It’s about the environment I find around me, and who I am. I think constantly about the events in my life, places I have been to and the people I have known. Images of beautiful and ugly things play over and over again in my mind just like a movie or pages from a diary.
My works are grounded in a perspective of my individual being as it is affected by my relationships to the environments I find myself in and the people I find myself among. This includes my being a female Chinese artist in China and the United States of America.
My works are based on sociological and anthropological approaches as revealed in my work. Basic myths and stories are found everywhere in all cultures, and I have found them in the Chinese and U.S. cultures I have experienced. But I also believe people have individual identities, essential cores of personality, and I try to reveal these in my paintings. I often capture aspects of relationships of which my subjects may not be aware. In my work, I combine my analyses of their interactions with a broad acceptance of the subjects’ depths of human emotions. I paint others as distinct individuals, in poses that are natural to them. This involves their social standing, what has happened in their lives, and aspects of their character.