Artist Interview: Xiao Wang

Wiao Wang

What was your inspiration for depicting interior details in your paintings?
It is intriguing how interior spaces can carry certain moods and emotions, and this kind of psychological quality has been a major inspiration for me. It can come from anything in the interior space: objects, light, colors, or even my own moods. And most importantly, they are incomprehensible, and that interests me.

The objects in your paintings look very realistic yet maintain a somber character. What is the main idea underlying your works of art?
Again, the psychological quality of spaces is the starting point of my works, I suppose the idea of painting them is my way of making sense of these abstract feelings, I want them to be felt rather than read. But however somber the paintings may be, they do not illustrate the feelings, because once the paintings were done, they have created a different form of reality. They are the reflections of me, but they have their own characters, that’s not something I can or want to control.

How does the work on view in this exhibition represent a shift in your evolution as an artist?
My work has been constantly shifting ever since I started making art. Over the past two years I have come to realize how sensually and conceptually complex a simple imagery can be, and this idea has influenced my current body of work. But I’m sure they will keep changing in the future.

How do you choose an object or interior to paint?
I trust my instinct: I spend a lot of time looking through large amount of photos (I mainly work from photographs), and occasionally I get intrigued by certain ones, and they may or may not be painted, its rather unpredictable. Sometimes I look at an image for days but didn’t end up using it, sometimes I make the decision in 2 minutes. But I never do photo shoots specifically for paintings.

What is unique about your process?
I care about colors, a lot, I try my best to mix the most delicate color possible.
I often blur the painting a little bit, but not in pursuit of creating a “style”. I want to more or less eliminate brush marks so the deepness of space can emerge, I don’t care so much about the “flatness” of painting.

How will the Jack and Gertrude Murphy Fellowships and the Edwin Anthony and Adelaine Bourdeaux Cadogan Scholarships Awards, administered by The San Francisco Foundation, and the accompanying exhibition support your work and future artistic development?
This is the first time that I have received a contemporary art award, and it has given me great confidence in my current practice. I’m sure this will be a first step for my future development. At the same time the scholarship is supporting my study financially.

About the Interviewer:
Milda Vakarinaite is an Arts Leadership Associate at SOMArts.

Image above by Xiao Wang