The West Lake
Oil on canvas
15 x 220 cm
The West Lake in Hangzhou possesses a wealth of attractive scenic spots and natural resources; it has been deeply loved by Chinese scholars throughout history. Its charm in part lies in its rich humanistic disposition. Overlooking the West Lake from afar, two kinds of emotions simultaneously rush to mind: one is about the lonely life and death in a distanced homeland, the other about the perfect work of creation by God's hand, for which one cannot help but utter praise and thanks. The two emotions come alternating and resonating with each other, both able to be seen and touched.
Yongliang Wang’s long handscroll, The West Lake, depicts a site long held sacred to the Chinese, as have so many other lakes, rivers and mountains. The traditional Chinese term for landscape is shan shui which literally means “mountains and water.” These are the places where Daoist spirits reside and to which scholar-officials would retreat to renew themselves, according to Chinese tradition, in order that they might take back up their responsibilities in society. Today, urban Chinese flock to these sites for much the same reason, to receive the rest and refreshment that nature distinctly provides. But for Wang, nature is a manifestation of the common grace and provision extended to every human being by God.
Oil on canvas
50 x 40 cm
Mountain Rain uses oil painting to express the traditional Chinese art theme of water and mountains as well as the distinctive scene of mist rising in Chinese landscape paintings. In order to make the landscape appear real and vivid, a traditional Chinese artist would resort to "bi mo" (a special technique of applying ink and brush in traditional Chinese ink painting). I find myself also in need to employ “bi mo” if I am to capture the water and mountain landscape vividly in the western-derived medium of the oil painting.
Body (Sweet Potatoes)
Oil on canvas
30.5 x 38 cm
Sweet Potatoes, or Body, as I really wanted to name it, is a still life painting. It's symbolic; it's a plant; it has its own body; it has experienced growth, and it will die; it's food; so it dies to provide nutrition for our lives, to give us energy and vitality…. I say prayers of grace before meals; I often say thanks to the food on the table. I was filled with such feelings during the entire process of making the painting. To convey such complicated feelings, we need some sort of medium, and the medium has to be concrete.
About the Artist
Born in 1973 in Zhengzhou, Yongliang Wang studied for a bachelor’s degree in the Department of Oil Painting at China Academy of Fine Arts from 1995-1999 and for a master’s degree in the Department of Oil Painting at China Academy of Fine Arts from 2002-2006. He currently teaches at China Academy of Fine Arts and lives and works in Hangzhou, China. In addition to group exhibitions, he has had solo exhibitions: Wang Yongliang Oil Landscape Painting Exhibition, China Academy of Fine Arts, Hangzhou (2014) and A Trip to West Mountain, Jingfu, Hangzhou (2013).