The Hefner Collection
Previous Artist return to index Next Artist

Wei Rong
Wei Rong  (1963 —         )
Wei Rong was born in Beijing in 1963 and from 1979 to 1983 she studied at the Preparatory School of the Central Academy of Fine Arts, Beijing. In 1987 she graduated from the Central Academy of Fine Arts Prints Department. From 1987 to 1999 she taught at a middle school attached to the central Academy of Fine Arts. Wei Rong now lives and works as a professional artist in Beijing. She has participated in several group shows including the Sixth National Fine Arts Show, Beijing, 1984; the Seventh National Fine Arts Show, Beijing, 1989; and the West Meets East, Discovery Museum, Connecticut, U.S.A. in 1994. She had a solo show in 1998 at the Ming Jing Di Gallery in Beijing. Wei Rong's work is collected internationally by both private collectors and museums.


 

  • Wind and Moon, 1997
    Oil on Canvas
    56" x 60" (142.2cm x 152.4cm)

    About this work

    Wei Rong's unique style of painting has developed due to what she describes as her need to link the past with the present. For her works, she researches 19th century photographs of both known and unknown Chinese subjects; sometimes her paintings include portraits of scholars, writers and artists and sometimes, the people in her paintings are anonymous. Often she combines the figures with different backgrounds; however, she always places a modern figure in the paintings. The modern figure is always in color, contrasted with the realistic black and white imagery of the old photographs she references. Her style has been called 'hyper-realistic', but Wei Rong says she is only painting what she sees in the photographs and wants the viewer to connect the historical feeling of the pictures with the modern day subjects.   

  • In Memory of the Drowning Men of Letters, 2000
    Pencil on Paper
    13 1/2" x 17 1/2" (34.3cm x 44.5cm)

    About this work

    Wei Rong often finds 19th century photographic prints illustrating well known subjects in Chinese literature. The individuals in this drawing were all recognized writers and philosophers who drowned themselves in a protest action. It is Wei Rong's practice to make detailed, scaled down drawings like this one for works she will later turn into paintings. Typically her drawings are in pencil, but sometimes she adds watercolor to the modern figures she places in the historical scenes.   

  • Enjoying Opera, 2003
    Pencil on Paper
    22" x 16 1/8" (55.9cm x 33.3cm)

    About this work

    Many of Wei Rong's interpretations of ancient Chinese scenes combine historically recognizable figures with a modern subject -- like in this study of the infamous imperial concubine Cixi seated next to an anonymous young girl who is playing the guitar. The girl is dressed in fashionable clothes, contrasted with Cixi's regal costume. Typically the statement Wei Rong makes is very simple and the interpretation is left to the viewer. It is certainly not sarcastic or political. She says she is only linking the past and present in subtle ways and that she has no message to impart.   

  • The Studio #1, 2001
    Oil on Canvas
    56" x 68" (142.2cm x 172.7cm)

    About this work

    Wei Rong produced a series of paintings dealing with the setting of Chinese artists and scholars at leisure in their studios, often drinking and smoking. In all of these, she placed a nude female figure in the center of a group of men. In some of the paintings, she includes an image of Mao Zedong in the background that is often associated with Cultural Revolution paintings. By virtue of the fact that the nude female is in color, and typically all of the artist's 'modern day' subjects are in color, we are expected to believe that the girl is the link to the present. The figure of Mao makes this work a multi-generational interpretation.    

  • Little Opera, 1997
    Oil on Canvas
    56" x 64" (142.2cm x 162.5cm)

    About this work

    This beautiful portrait study is typical of studio pictures produced in 19th century China. The opera troupe is posing with their instruments and in full costume, against a backdrop of an image of Mao Zedong. Wei Rong has placed in the picture two modern day young women, each holding an instrument as if they were a part of the performing troupe. The woman to the far left is dressed in very modern clothing, yet she is wearing a Red Army soldier's cap. The woman seated and playing an accordian is dressed in a full Red Army uniform, but her shoes are quite contemporary. The artist does not choose to comment about why she uses such anachronisms, so the viewer is left to his own interpretation.  

  • A Lady of The Late Qing, 1995
    Oil on Canvas
    46" x 32" (116.8cm x 81.3cm)

    About this work

    Wei Rong uses all periods of pictures, both photographic and painted, in research for her art. In this simple painting, she has interpreted what a worn and damaged color postcard might look like if it were enlarged to 46" x 32".   

     
Previous Artist return to index Next Artist
 

 

Home  |  Hefner Collection  |  History

News  |  Contact Us  |  Links  |  Site Map

© Copyright 2017, Robert & MeiLi Hefner Collection
Legal | Privacy Policy