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A solo exhibition by Chinese-Australian artist Guan Wei recently opened at the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia (MCA) until February 2020. Drawn from the MCA Collection, the exhibition explores three decades of the artist’s practice featuring painting, animation, prints as well as his more recent exploration into site-specific installations and wall paintings.

Born in Beijing, Guan Wei is of the generation of artists that left China in the wake of the Tiananmen Square events in 1989. He arrived in Australia in 1989 where he undertook artistic residencies in Tasmania, Sydney and Canberra. Guan Wei has had a longstanding relationship with the Museum. In 1999, the MCA was the first Australian venue to hold a solo exhibition by the artist, and in 2013, the MCA commissioned Guan Wei for the Foyer Wall Commission.

Director of the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia, Elizabeth Ann Macgregor OBE, said: “We are thrilled to have Guan Wei’s work return to the MCA Galleries and to showcase one of Australia’s most important contemporary artists twenty-years on from his first solo exhibition at the Museum. Guan Wei’s work brings together his own Chinese cultural heritage with many influences of the West, and it is fantastic to see a new presentation of his work at the MCA.” 

His works reflect contemporary social issues, using stylised human figures and mythological creatures to address questions of identity, migration, belonging and exile.

Guan Wei is best known for his humorous yet deeply political works melding the histories and cultures of Australia and China. His works reflect contemporary social issues, using stylised human figures and mythological creatures to address questions of identity, migration, belonging and exile. Curated by MCA Assistant Curator Manya Sellers, Guan Wei: MCA Collection is a free exhibition on Level 1 which brings together four significant works by the artist. An early series of 48 works on paper that look at the political landscape in China in the 1980s, Two-finger exercise (1992); a second series of works on paper that comment on Chinese governmental bureaucracy, Certificates 1-4 (1999), and an animation video with accompanying works on paper exploring symbols of war, Paper War (2014–15).

The centrepiece of the exhibition is an immense multi-panelled painting Feng Shui (2004), originally commissioned for Melbourne’s Bureau of Meteorology building and donated to the MCA Collection in 2017. Comprising 120 panels and measuring 18 metres long and 5 metres high, Feng Shui represents humans, water, earth and sky existing in harmonious relationships. For Guan Wei: MCA Collection, Guan Wei has painted directly onto the gallery walls to connect each of the four works together into one presentation.

For the closing weekend of the exhibition and coinciding with 2020 Chinese New Year, the MCA will host a special in conversation artist talk with Guan Wei on Saturday 08 February 2020. 

For more visit: www.mca.com

Art • News • BY Neue Luxury SHARE

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