Galerie DUMONTEIL Shanghai is pleased to present Weng jijun’s “Constellation”, featuring up to 20 artworks that showcase Weng's most recent practice revolving around Chinese lacquer. "Constellation" is both the starting point of the artist's philosophical contemplation in today’s social context and his latest development on the creative level.
Drawing inspiration from lacquer, its characteristics, and its tradition, Weng provides an alternative for us to re-examine our connection with the world in a way that bridges its different dimensions. Recently, the artist began to pay¬ more attention to our desire to explore the world of the unknown, using his works to reflect the connection between the macro and micro worlds beyond the prism of science.
Weng's mastery of lacquer has enabled him to transform the traditional "patterns" and "motifs" into a search for the origin of life and a depiction of cosmic forms, breaking the stereotype of lacquer as a craft and decorative art from different aspects. In several works of this exhibition, Weng transforms the seemingly uniform yet varied "Xipi ", a unique decoration technique in Chinese lacquer art, into tiny units that construct microbial forms, representing the initial form of life as well as the various topographies, geologies and landscapes created by mother Earth.
Color is also an important component in Weng’s creation. For Weng, color reveals emotion and energy. The artist prefers abstract expressions that have color at their core. Unlike the abstract brushwork on canvas and paper, the subtle yet visible complexity — the aggregate of energy and overlapping traces, the intentional and the accidental — are achieved by the interpenetration of accumulated lacquer layers and repeated polishing effects.
In Weng Jijun's work, content, form and process are more closely interwoven than ever, collectively exploring the most essential visual language created by all three.
The installation "Standing 2018", displayed by the entrance, consists of three dry lacquer columns that combine the texture feelings unique to varied stages of lacquer creation — painting, mounting ramie, scraping, polishing, silver leafing, etc., while the strength and solidity of the overall appearance provide a strong contrast to the light, stripped texture.
Works like "Constellation 2021-13" and "Constellation 2021-14", on the other hand, seeks a balance between the overflow of lacquer paint and the flattened polishing effects, which conveys a painterliness constructed by control and freedom.
In "Constellation", Weng Jijun invites the viewer to see things anew from the perspective of perception rather than cognition, leading to a distinctive experience beyond our own senses. At the same time, the artist encourages us to look beyond the convention of traditional craftsmanship, to re-understand and appreciate lacquer. Together with the artist, we will explore more possibilities for lacquer art creation in a contemporary context.