Jin Wei Hong by Anna Zhong Tong Yue
The paintings in Jin Weihong’s latest exhibition experiment with an image which was once a taboo Chinese paintings: the nude. The 30-year-old artist from Nanjing says the rarity of nudes in Chinese art is one reason why she has chosen to paint them.
“Nude figures, unbound by social conventions, seem to be an ideal way to express my feelings freely’” she says. Jin uses a spare, unrestrained style of painting. Though recognizably male or female, the majority of the figures are deliberately asexual. Many look away from the viewer and some even lack facial features.
“I prefer the kind of emptiness there in my paintings, which leaves spaces for viewers’ imagination,” she says. She believes a painting is a joint effort between the artist and the viewer, but insists, that she has no “deep philosophical message.”
Pointing to a naked figure lying with arms and legs relaxed, she explains, “I just want the viewers feel relaxed, too.” However many of her paintings create an eerie, uneasy mood.
One depicts a man and a woman apparently having a conversation. The apparent unease of the female figure and the space between him and the woman seem to indicate a communication problem.
Despite her subject matter, Jin, a graduate from Nanjing Art Institute, holds
firm to traditional Chinese techniques and avoids strong color because she feels
black in already has rich shades.
She says she is ready to accept errors in her paintings. Instead of discarding the whole pictures because of a faulty stroke, she says she accepts it and wants her audiences to realize and understand this.
“I have to be in a very relaxed and merry mood to paint and I want my paintings to be as natural as possible”, she says.
“Line drawing in very important in Chinese paintings and one brief line can
save unnecessary brushwork, while telling much,” she adds.