Wang Jianwei

Wang Jianwei
b. 1958, Suining, Sichuan
Multimedia artist
Wang Jianwei received his MA in Painting from the Zhejiang Academy of Fine Arts in Hangzhou. He has held numerous solo and group exhibitions worldwide. In the 1980s, Wang’s paintings explored realistic representations of the lives of Red Guards in the Cultural Revolution. Since the 1990s, Wang has become a leading expert in multimedia art. He uses multimedia (videos, slide projectors and mechanical structures) to construct what he calls a ‘grey space’, a non-determinative multi-media space that eliminates the authority of linear logic.
Linking multimedia art to sites of daily life, Wang comprehends the world of everyday life as ambiguous, non-fixed and multi-layered—a world full of possibilities. The setting for Production (1996), for example, is a Sichuan teahouse, where the place, environment, and human conversation and behaviour are the ‘products’. The teahouse becomes a place depicting a conditioned way of life, a place where information is transmitted and communicated, a place where daily conversation and modes of thinking are transformed one by another, a place allowing interaction between the public and the private. Moreover, Wang Jianwei also explicitly addresses issues of social change. His 140-minute video Living Elsewhere (2000), for example, documents the daily life of four peasants living in villas along Chengdu’s Airport Road which were built, but left unfinished, during the period of the bubble economy. In this project, Wang explores how everyday experience is related to the past and present of a built environment.

Encyclopedia of contemporary Chinese culture. . 2011.

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