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PORTFOLIO contents

CONTENTS Introduction


Wo Zhi










My Name is Red Line drawing

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PORTFOLIO Introduction

INTRODUCTION City is the theme of my portfolio. It is the place where we live, full of unpredictability and imagination. Something traditional is preserved there while something new is generated with time passage. Sometimes individuals get familiar with it but sometimes they do not. Cities worldwide are different from one another but share something in common. Each city I visit always brings me something new and something that I have learned of elsewhere. City has a resonance for me, but meanwhile something unexpected might happen in city. I have been to Tokyo, a modern city of hustle and bustle; Chiang Mai, a place of peace and tranquility; Havana, a mysterious land in distance; and Hong Kong, a developed area of diversity and complexity. Stories told by time-honored buildings and modern skyscrapers give me different inspirations and feelings. City owns his unique signs and features based on which it shape itself. For me, city is a combination of apathy, loneliness, passion and vitality, intertwined with sorrow and happiness, a comfortable shelter coated by a hard shell. Life in city is dramatic and personalized. In spite of its unpredictability everything goes well in order. Everyone has his story with city, therefore I want to record my story related to city in my artistic works.

In addition to graphic sources, words full of imagination inspired me a lot. In Invisible Cities, “With cities, it is as with dreams: everything imaginable can be dreamed, but even the most unexpected dream is a rebus that conceals a desire or, its reverse, a fear.� It is Marco Polo, or Italo Calvino’s understanding of city. City in the book does not refer to one at a certain time in a certain place. Instead, various cities described there have different characters but also share similarities. Hence they are universal in a sense. City lies in the river of history with its rise, fall, and even complete collapse. After reading this book by Calvino, I came to realize what city looks like in my world. Flowers, skyscrapers, apathetic walking dead, energetic poets, tears and laughter, all can be found in the city that is illuminated by neon lights throughout the night. Maybe the city is not a real one but just imaginary. Luckily I can reveal it through my painting, the most comforting thing for a painter. Inspiration might come from the combination of truth and imagination. I hope that I can record the development and changes of me and the city. Sometimes I may feel confused, sometimes feel tired, but they are true feelings caused by the story between the city and me.


Wo Zhi This piece of work is inspired by a Hong Kong writer and critic Liang Wendao’s writing- “all lies, fancies, despicability and cowardice are pigments and source materials to display a city and numerous stories in it. What you see is just in your imagination; things are not destined to happen but occur by chance.” I am living in city and get lost in city. I split my memory of city into pieces and reorganize them together to reconstruct a city located in my heart. Wo Zhi‘s theme is struggle and lost. The hue of whole painting is more of gray, a dusky atmosphere. The focus of this work is the architectures at the back that demonstrates city’s flourishing. Their style combines modern construction and classical oriental one, partially true and partially imaginative, a unity of universality and originality. The whole architecture complex is painted delicately and precisely. By comparison, the surface of water and rocks are painted more casually. The character in the water may be sinking under it or struggling to get out of it, conveying a sense of confusion and tiredness caused by city life, but also expressing a wish to find the true self remaining in one‘s heart.


▲ Wo Zhi 360×60cm Oil on canvas, 2015


â–² Part of Wo Zhi


Epitome This series of work is painted on transparent plexiglass, illustrating the combination of scene and individuals in city, partially influenced by surrealism. The work fixed on the wall can be projected onto it by making the best of transparency of plexiglass and lights to make it more interesting. This work expresses my thought that I always try hard to look for funny things in life in spite of busyness and vapidity. That is why I chose plexiglass as canvas instead of regular one to make some breakthrough and innovation in creation. Individuals on empty streets look lonelier, like our present life, seeming rich but full of emptiness actually. Perhaps only when people are alone at night are they brave enough to embrace inner self.


â–² Epitome Oil on plexiglass, 2015


â–² Part of Epitome


▲ Part of Epitome

▲ Part of Epitome

PORTFOLIO Imprisonment

Imprisonment The reason I classify these two pieces of work into one is that they convey the same theme- confusion.

PORTFOLIO Imprisonment Empty Room is inspired by eyes’ observation of outside world. This work shows a view from the perspective of an empty room like our observation of surrounding through eyes. Our view is blocked by French window’s frame. What we can see through the window is limited by the small frame, which is like our inner world contracted unceasingly and confined in smaller area. Misled by paranoia and desire, sometimes we even forget seeking after broader space. Saturation of the whole painting is low but not gloomy. This work is like a sweet temptation catching people’s eyes immediately.

▲ Empty Room 100×100cm Oil on canvas, 2017

PORTFOLIO Imprisonment The painting Imprisonment is inspired by words from Italo Calvino’s novel Invisible Cities—“it makes no sense to divide cities into these two species, but rather into another two: those that through the years and the changes continue to give their form to desires, and those in which desires either erase the city or are erased by it.” Each of us is imprisoned by the city we live in. Meanwhile we are given time and space to release our inner feelings. What presented in the painting is the depression and hesitation of people’s state in city. The cage framing the girl’s head stands for a person’s desire. To release from the restriction or to continue to constrain it in our mind, it is a question. The street sight is done in purple tone with a touch of warm indicating city’s combination of indifference and inclusiveness.

▲ Imprisonment 100×80cm Oil on canvas, 2014


Bizzare This series of works is inspired by tall buildings densely located in city. I resort to flat design for this work instead of dimensional design because I think flat design and repeated permutation can fully demonstrate one of features of modern city- flourishing but vapidity.


▲ Window 80×40cm Oil on canvas, 2016

PORTFOLIO Bizzare The work Window is a layered painting in which different permutation and combination of colors and shapes with solid color at intervals are employed to make a contrast of sparseness and density. Dense windows suffocate people, which has a resonance for today’s people. However, changes in light and shade of these windows break such dreariness. All of this is like our bizarre life, attracting us while making us lost in it.

â–˛ Part of Window

PORTFOLIO Bizzare Wall I focuses on a tiny detail in city, a wall. The hue of this painting is light gray with a sense of brightness in contrast to lines in the middle and stairs, which highlights repeated bricks and winding layers of stairs. This work demonstrates people’s helplessness due to suffocating repetition. There is no channel for help so people have no choice but to let this feeling of helplessness spread endlessly.

▲ Wall Ⅰ 60×50cm Oil on canvas, 2016


Wall II presents city’s brightly-lit night. City at night is most charming and dangerous, for thousands of lights illuminate the sky and make people lost in such brightness. Buildings of purple shade and warm yellow lighting set off each other nicely, revealing city’s blur and prosperity.

▲ Wall Ⅱ 60×50cm Oil on canvas, 2016


Light This series of works emphasize city’s warmth. An illustration of a light in the corner of city represents the face of the whole city where people get lost in their life and people’s original intention lies in the depth of their heart like faint light. Painting of a detail in life shows city’s tenderness coated by a hard shell. It seems that there is always a ray of light to make people feel warm in spite of tough life. The light may come from family, partner or the inner heart of oneself. The hue of the whole series is mainly blue, a bright color to make people feel warm.


▲ Light 50×50cm×4 Oil on canvas, 2015



Part of Light

PORTFOLIO My Name is Red

My Name is Red This series are my earliest creation about the theme of city. They mainly embody the tenderness hidden in city. To make a striking contrast, black and white tone is employed to show city’s apathy and solidity while some red object in city becomes the focus in the painting. Painting of these red objects manifests that people usually ignore some details even touching moments in daily life. Actually the city is so inclusive that she accepts everything and everyone unconditionally. Confronted with unhappiness we are likely to find the path to happiness hidden behind it. It is such contradiction that shapes our unique city life. This series of works are my first creation about the theme city, which are based on variety of cultural backgrounds of different cities.

PORTFOLIO My Name is Red

▲ My Name is Red 30×40cm×8 Oil on canvas, 2012

PORTFOLIO My Name is Red

â–² Part of My Name is Red

PORTFOLIO Line drawing

Line drawing There are some drafts done by myself that record my inspiration and details in life.

PORTFOLIO Line drawing

▲ City 40×40cm Oil on canvas, 2016

PORTFOLIO Line drawing

▲ draft 1

▲ draft 2

PORTFOLIO Line drawing

▲ draft 3

▲ draft 4

PORTFOLIO Line drawing

▲ draft 5

▲ draft 6

PORTFOLIO Line drawing

▲ draft 7 ▲ draft 8

PORTFOLIO Line drawing

▲ draft 9

▲ draft 10

▲ draft 11


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