Originally from Beijing, China, Z.Z. Wei was invited to the Pacific Northwest as part of the Pacific Rim Cultural Project in 1989. Completing two artist residencies in Washington State, the landscape of this region became a huge inspiration for Wei. He has since become identified as a Northwest artist with an international audience.
Z.Z. Wei, On the Road Again, (2002) oil on canvas [Attic Gallery, Portland, OR, Nov 7-Dec 2]
There is a relationship between the human presence and the landscape that Wei establishes in his work. His compositions reach outward, as if the viewer is standing at the edge of his scenes. They have a sullen spirit that alludes to human consciousness without ever fully representing it.
Weis landscapes are still and silent. There is however, an animation that is expressed in his paint. The colours are alive and his palette has a distinct warmth with oranges and yellows that are balanced by deep penetrating siennas. Accompanied by a strong sense of light and foreboding shadow, Weis compositions possess a bold, graphic quality, creating a vibrant tension.
Weis landscapes are melancholic but hopeful, lonely but at peace. With scenes that include empty skies, a roadside barn, and rolling fields that make up rural America, one gets the feeling of traveling down an open road in an uninhabited landscape of quiet farmlands.