Chen Wei

Chen Wei’s work is characterised by elaborate photographic scenes, featuring an assortment of found memories choreographed into a surreal studio like setting. The artist takes inspirations from modern Chinese literatures and makes many sketches from which he works to physically construct the envisioned scene. Each of Chen Wei’s existing series takes a new subject and location as a starting point, from bus shelters to singular figures set in a dilapidated room. Chen Wei belongs to a new generation of Chinese contemporary photographers who forgoes traditional documentation of the surroundings. They take a new focus on the subject and idiosyncratic languages, an approach shared by Jeff Wall, Cindy Sherman and Gregory Crewdson.

Aug. 7, 2014

Art is important in my life, because… my life comes from it.

Art goes best with… work.

Three words that best describe art according to you... But why three?

An art exhibition you have enjoyed recently… Martin Creed’s exhibition at Hayward Gallery in London.

Best city to go to for art… I don’t know.

Your favourite museum in the world… Hamburger Bahnhof Museum für Gegenwart in Berlin.

An artist (dear or alive) you would like to have lunch with... Leonardo da Vinci.

Chinese contemporary art for you is… Just Chinese contemporary art.

Where does your inspiriation in art come from?

There is no definite answer to this question. A lot of different things in life can trigger inspirations, even the little details that I encounter in daily life. It can occur when I go out, when I talk to my friends, when I watch TV or read magazines, when I surf the Internet, or when I come across an artwork that can be either mine or other’s.

Why did you choose photography as your art medium in the first place? What does photography mean to you?

At first I worked on videos, installations and photography, but I had never thought of choosing a particular medium. Eventually there came considerations about the studio and the circumstances, and I thought that photography would be a more suitable medium for me to continue my work in art. Therefore I focused more on photography, which slowly became the major part of my creation. It does not have any special meaning to me.

Are you working on any project that you think is interesting to share with us?

Since last year I have been working on a project related to disco, which I will hopefully complete by the end of this year. This project involves photography as well as installation. There will continue to be extended use of indoor and outdoor settings, but I have also included some scenes and objects, as well as human portraits. On top of this project, I have also worked on other series.

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