Wonder by Wai.
Earlier last week, I sent out press releases, hoping to get some coverage for the exhibition 🙂 It was written based on a simple Q&A session with my dear friend, Dini.
I figure I could share it with all of you, the good people who stumble upon this site.
If you’d like to test out your eyesight, you can click on the image to enlarge it, or just read the whole transcript below 🙂
Why is your exhibition called WONDER?
WONDER is the reason why I paint, why I embrace art and enjoy every moment of it. It is the idea of letting your curiosity leads, whether it is in your thoughts or in your actions. I believe that curiosity is the best gift anyone can give to him/herself. To wonder ‘what-will-happen-if’, to never be afraid of trying something new and to enjoy new adventures. More often than not, WONDER is the most beautiful thing in life.
How long have you been painting (officially and unofficially)?
I think I have always been drawing ever since I can recall my memory. Officially, I attended four years of design school as my undergraduate study. I worked primarily as an illustrator and Art Director for more than 11 years; however I only started using oil paint as medium four years ago.
Tell us about your style of painting and the medium(s) you use.
In terms of oil painting, it is my privilege to have a teacher with a deep knowledge of traditional European style of painting; hence most of my artworks were influenced by the classical European masters.
When I stood in front of a Rembrandt, a Monet or a Matisse in the Louvre, I was moved by the raw emotions, love and honesty that the artists put into their works. Furthermore, I was also humbled to realize that those masterpieces were the culmination of the hundred of years of knowledge, earned from the artists’ sweats and hard works.
During my journey as an artist myself, I learned that the design principals such as composition, lights & dark, color balance, golden ratio are such a very important tools to achieve a good artworks. I truly believe that the balance between the emotion and knowledge equally hold an important role in achieving a satisfying result.
At the moment, I am still very much in love with the medium of oil paints. That being said, I also did some experimentation with several other mediums such as ink or charcoal on paper, acrylic paints. Up to this point, I can confidently say that I feel most natural when I use oil paints in my hands.
One thing that should not be ignored, I paint digitally too! In fact, I have made digital sketches and illustrations long before my encounter with oil painting. I cannot say which one is better than the other; both have their own special compartments in my heart.
You have mentioned that your work does not have a central theme. How do you choose your subject matter?
Each and every of my painting is very personal to me, when I saw them, I can remember clearly the mood of the person in front of me, the energy he/she/it gave to me, our exchanges, the whole surroundings when the work is still on progress, whether it’s a sunny or rainy day, the music, the smell in the studio, the laughter, the boredom or the sadness… So, I guess you can say each of my work is different and personal; the thing that connected them all was the point of view from me as the painter. I put the characters and feelings of my subject into my work, I painted them with the honesty that they shared with me at that moment.
How I chose my subject matter is a little bit trickier. There are those whom you can easily connect with, however there are also those who operate on different frequencies. All you can do is open yourself, and WONDER; what will happen if. If you try hard enough, you will then get your answer.
How do you think [the above] make your work different or stand out in comparison to others?
I believe it’s the liveliness of the characters that I made, the energy that were captured in the canvas and also my natural temperament in using oil paints with loose brushstrokes. Combinations of those dynamics make my work mine.
How do you feel you have grown (as an artist/painter) since you started?
I have been lucky enough to be able to have a first-hand experience with so many inspirational masterpieces from famous artists during my travels. Those experiences made me wonder, how did they see the world? What have happened during their life as an artist? And why they ‘speak’ their language in their art. For example, in Brussel, I saw an exhibition by Morandi, an artist who painted mainly bottles in his life: one big hall full with so many paintings of bottles. Each composition possesses its own uniqueness and they were all so, so, SO beautiful! I realized that the beauty of his compositions come from his passions, or as I like to say, he found his ‘peace’, the serene feeling that emanates from his choice of color palettes and the use of space.
It may not be the same for every artists; it may be bottles for Morandi and religions for other artist. It is like finding love and losing yourself in the process. (Yikes, it’s so corny but it’s somewhat true ey).
When I look back, it seems like I have learnt quite a bit, but I’m still searching for my peace, still honing my skills, still trying to be good-enough; some people said it is a never-ending pursuit. I suppose to be able to do what you love is already a luxurious freedom.
This is your first exhibition. How do you feel about it (was there anything that motivated you to do it now)?
Even though it is terrifying, I believe that this is the time to bring my works out there; I have been painting for quite some time now and have joined a few collaborative projects here and there. Personally, I think I have matured enough to be able to be comfortable with what I have made and to share it with the world. Furthermore, I hope to move on to the next stage of my wonder, to paint more and to dive deeper into the search. The most exciting aspect about this exhibition is that this is my first;and to me it seems that once will never be enough. There is always something that constantly pulls and pushes me so that I will never stop.
Is there anything that you want people to take from your work/this exhibition?
I do hope they enjoy it. It would mean the world to me if there were any of my works that touches their heart, the way that art touches me. Last but not least, I hope that my works inspire people to never stop WONDERing.