Wu Qiang

Wu Qiang (b.1977) was born in Fujian, China, graduated from the China Academy of Art, Department of Traditional Chinese Painting with a BFA (2000) and MFA (2005). His senior-year work, Cloudy Cliffs, won the Graduate Award of Excellence and is in the academy’s permanent collection. Another early work, Empty Mountain (2003), was exhibited at the 2nd National Exhibition of Traditional Chinese Painting and won the Award of Excellence. Wu’s works most often appear orderly and serene but his scrupulous brushwork and use of color conveys to the viewer an experience that exceeds the bounds of the painting. Wu works with both traditional ink wash painting as well as contemporary ink painting. Wu is currently the Vice Chair of the Zhejiang University, Department of Art & Archeology.

'Small-scale' Ink Painting

Wu Qiang depicts deep valleys and distant mountains on pieces of paper with dimensions similar to a ruler. In this way he continues the landscape art tradition of the Song-Yuan period, in which scroll paintings presented vast landscapes in a small portable form. These paintings should not be mistaken as ‘xiao pin’ (a typical genre of Chinese ink painting, small-size paintings in a very sketchy style). In fact, Wu Qiang paints in the spirit of Dong Qichang, the famous Ming artist and theorist, who exemplified the idea of “see the large in the small” in his remarkable painting album in which he faithfully reproduced the original masterpieces in reduced size. Though Wu Qiang’s paintings are small in size, their richness contains immensity.



Exhibition Publication

In collaboration with the curators, Tokyo Gallery published a trilingual book on the occasion of this exhibition with a series of interviews with artists.