the museum of americana

a literary review

Art by Z.Z. Wei

The relationship between man and nature has always fascinated me. When I moved from China to Washington State in 1989, I discovered a rural landscape completely different from anything I had seen before. Thoroughly inspired, I began to explore this relationship with a completely new perspective.

Even though I am categorized as a landscape painter, I am painting people without actually painting people. As human activities unfold upon a landscape, human nature is revealed in those forms. Our culture, spirit and values are spoken through the cultivated dirt, the wooden barn, the transportation and the harvested alfalfa. It’s the story of humanity and their interaction with nature and the environment.

Light, color, and structure form the heart of my work. I use simple and strong contrast to create an atmosphere that shows the power of nature and the strength of human beings, and their dynamic balance. My works are not a realist depiction of an actual place, but an abstract expression of the inner world of my heart and mind.

Art begins when words fail. I communicate with my viewers through the emotions I create on canvas. It’s a space for them to rest, to contemplate, to heal and to celebrate; it’s an inner landscape for them to interact and interpret through their own perspective. These endless possibilities are what make art powerful. I paint to open those possibilities for myself and for others.
                                                                                                                                                       -Z.Z. Wei

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Wei was born in 1957, in Beijing, China. He started painting at a young age during China’s Culture Revolution. Art and Painting were his sanctuary from the turmoil of his school and family. He graduated from Central Institute of Arts and Design in Beijing in 1984

Wei came to the United States in 1989. The rural landscape of America has transformed him as a person and an artist. It represents the beginning of a fresh lifestyle and art. Wei unites his art and life experiences in China with his perspectives inspired by traveling the backroads of America, creating a rich and poetic oeuvre. His original and unique interpretation of the landscapes captures the characteristics and spirits of America that touch the hearts of a wide range of audiences from different cultures and backgrounds.

Wei’s style and imagery are heavy with references to Americana. However, they are abstractions of his views. “Richly complex, they are filled with humor and loneliness, peacefulness and pain. They balance on the knife-edge of meaning, tempting those who choose to look beyond the mundane to experience a unique and timeless look at life”.