IT is rare for a Chinese artist to be able to work well with a Western artist, as it is not easy to present their artistic concepts and background simultaneously on the same piece.
But on “Flower Godness by W&M,” Chinese artist Wang Yuhong and German artist Mario Weinberg seem to have pulled it off.
Organized by the Ailing Foundation, affiliated with the Shanghai Charity Foundation, the exhibition is shown on the first floor at Bund 18 through August.
Born in Shanghai in 1972, Wang and Weinberg, who was born in Weil, Germany in 1982, grew up in different backgrounds and cultures, and are not even the same gender. Yet their oil painting collaboration worked.
Through Weinberg’s career, he realized that he wasn’t interested in finding his own style of painting. He is not concerned about the narrative in each painting but rather spontaneous composition.
Wang, on the other hand, focuses on the narrative — the figure and the story of each work. The compositions could be a toy airplane with ancient books, or blue and white porcelain with components of a watch. The strong sense of narrative makes the viewers wonder about the connections of each object in her paintings. The abstract and impulsive approach as seen in Weinberg’s work stands in stark contrast to Wang’s contemplative subject-related work.
Both artists break with tradition. Weinberg uses abstraction and intentional breaks through non-harmonious compositions and color coordination. Wang creates digital photographic illustrations and incorporates traditional Chinese ink painting into photographs. The balanced proportions and harmonious compositions of Wang are confronted with opposites in Weinberg’s works.
“Many asked why we two started this collaboration. In fact, it is Weinberg who saw my work at first and proposed this plan to me,” Wang said.
“Both of us are oil painters, and we are thinking of the possibilities to extend our brushwork out of the canvas,” she added. “We want to discuss a series of questions through our paintings: What effect does China have on a German painter? How does a German painter influence a Chinese person? Will it be a new picture altogether or merely a compilation of two different works? Will the value of a work change?”
The artists are donating two pieces to the Ailing Foundation to help disadvantaged children with medical care and education.