Monday, 18 April 2011

Off The Wall

Xue Wang Viewed

Good things come to those who wait, we think Xue's waited long enough, take a long look at this ladies' work. Some interesting imagery from a true talent...

RD: Hey Xue it's great to meet up, where are you from and where are you living now?

I am based in London but originally from North East China.

RD: Could you describe your art for us please, also what media do you use and are you self-taught?

My first real recollection is using felt tip pens around age five to draw little girl's faces. In those days (early 1980s) a lot of art materials were inaccessible in my part of the country. My mother saw I had some talent and tried to encourage me by sending me to drawing class. Back then I drew things like figures swimming. I also have vague memories of tracing a Chinese Goddess from my grandmother's teapot. Little motifs fascinate me. I also liked dressing up dolls and acted out little scenarios with them. At high school I took evening classes in drawing for two years. We were trained in doing light studies with plaster busts and still lives. That's where my actual art training came into play. It was quiet and meticulous work but as a pensive and independent student, I liked it. Later on I went to university to study fashion around age 18. From that age I was in the fashion world until 2 years ago. Since then I've been painting full time.

RD: What other media have you tried and why settle on oil?

I tried coloured pencil, watercolour paint and gouache etc. Oil however is a much richer medium and you can express subtle tonalities with it. It gives you plenty of time to make decisions and I like to use a lot of stand oil as a medium to keep the surface fluid. You see I lay down glazes which takes a long time. It can be a laborious process. But best of all is the smell!

RD: Your subjects have a dark almost menacing feel to them, which sometimes includes young girls found in fair grounds and bondage situations, could you tell us what your inspiration for these images are?

I like film noire and classic Hollywood pin-up imagery. The darkness aspect is really an expression of sadness rather than anything sinister. Bondage elements ... might be coming from the iconic Betty Page thing. I like slightly kinky aspects of sexuality. The fairground theme came about as the result of a chance visit to Carter's family steam fair on Ravenscourt Park. It's a living museum of fairground attractions from years ago. Very vintage- very me. This will feature in a dual exhibition at The London Moles Gallery on June 23rd.
Actual artists I admire include Freida Kahlo, Henry Darger, Alfred Kubin and of course Mark Ryden. Freida's work has a visceral quality that is very immediate. Darger was very daring in his portrayal of naked girls. They're a bit like violated fairies. These days he'd probably get banged up inside!

RD: What puts a smile on your face?

Rummaging around for hours in junk shops and finding a bedraggled doll I can re-home. Failing that, a dog running at my feet.

RD: Have you got a size of canvas/board that you prefer to work on.

This varies. I've done some quite small studies but my preference is for between A1- A2 format. I'm working more on cardboard now as I find the tooth on canvas inhibiting.

RD: Are you experimenting with any other themes in your art right now?

I have an interest in paranormal activity. Near where I live there was a house which was supposedly the scene of inexplicable goings on back in Victorian times. Tales of hauntings led a well-known ghost hunter to investigate. Staying with the eerie theme, I like the look of Hellingly mental institution. It was once an active hospital in Sussex. Now it's derelict.

RD: Chocolate cake or bowl of fresh fruit?

Cake for the winter, fruit for the summer. Oysters for sustained periods!

RD: Give us a run down on some exhibitions you have coming up please?

Literal. eyes----- European group show at London Miles Gallery (from May 12th).
Guilty Pleasures---- group show at London Miles Gallery (from June 23rd).
Dual/solo Show at London Miles Gallery (from June 23rd).
All Female group show at London Miles Gallery(July---dates pending)
Genesis to Revelation ----group show at Copro Gallery CA (July-dates pending).
*Also currently exhibiting at Cuadros Gallery, Nottingham

RD: It's been great to catch up Xue, keep us up to date with your new paintings please.
"All the Best" from The Collective...Thanks

Xue's Weby...Right Here.

And her Blog...Here.

Cuadros Gallery, Notts... Here.

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