Guan Wei’s latest exhibition at ARC ONE Gallery presents two series of work: Body, a suite of expressive paintings laden with spiritual and philosophical meaning, and Salvation, sleek and playful bronze sculptures depicting little human gures tethered to the Buddha’s head.
In Body, Guan Wei examines the relationship between the physical and psychological through an integration of symbols and the human form. Using Chinese calligraphy and sketching, he renders religious motifs into simple, graf ti-like images. Enchanting creatures, people, angels and little elves perch, oat and tumble across the bodies of his canvases, pointing to the various spiritual and subconscious experiences that allow us to transcend the stresses and banality of quotidian life.
Such themes are similarly explored in Guan Wei’s sculptures, which bring together the tranquil Buddha with the lively human in a gentle equilibrium inspired by the Buddhist teachings of Zen. According to Guan Wei:
“Each of us wishes to be good, and has an inmate yearning for happiness. But amongst a busy, bustling world and our stressful, uncertain and secular lives, we have lost ourselves. Salvation is to present a happy life of Zen. A spirit which believes in people’s inherent tranquility and goodness, Zen requires a person’s heart to be free and to discover their true self – ultimately leading to a life of wisdom and happiness.”
With his consummate ability to create work at once light in tone and profound in message, Guan Wei nds a higher order of expression in these beautifully produced paintings and sculptures. Interlaced with the artist’s emblematic clouds, the works in this exhibition are powerfully drawn together through a material and metaphysical exploration of human life.
Press release courtesy Arc One Gallery.