While I was working one quiet Friday morning in the T3 offices, Professor Wei Dong came running in excitedly. He went right into Linda Zwicker’s office to tell her something important, I didn’t think anything of it, many professors come into our offices to chat with Linda.
Minutes later, an excited Linda and Wei come out of the office. “Meg, grab your camera and follow us,” Linda said. Considering it was a slow Friday I was delighted about some excitement.
Wei brought us to his cramped studio, on the second floor of SoHE. Immediately upon stepping into the room I knew something magical was going to take place. There is something so engaging about artists in their studios with paints, papers and drawings strewn about.
Wei pointed us to the work he has been creating recently, my breath was taken out of my lungs. The work was gorgeous, full of color and life. Wei merges Eastern and Western styles beautifully and intelligently.
He works with Japanese paper and makes the choice to paint on both sides of the paper. He starts with making a stunning nature inspired painting. Afterwards he sets it aside to dry for some time.
The second step in Wei’s process is crumpling up the paper, something most people don’t do with beautiful art, but this is so when he paints on the back of the paper, colors from the back can show through to the front.
Linda and I were fortunate to see Wei’s playful process of painting on the back of the paper. He uses lots of water and colors, he says that you can just feel where the colors are supposed to be. What I found most fascinating, is that he would run – almost sprint- the length of the 13-foot paper marking the length of the painting with one continuous stroke.
What is most delightful to me about Wei’s work is how the duality of the beautiful abstractions and nature scenes work together to create a whole that is breathtaking. Wei said it himself best when he was talking about how everything is connected, in art, in life and how it all works together to create something beautiful.
If you are interesting in seeing more of Wei’s work, you can check out the Biennial Design Showcase he is a part of at Madison Museum of Contemporary Art this upcoming week, April 30th to May 8th. For more information click this link.
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