Monday, 2 December 2013
The following is the catalogue introduction for an exhibition of paintings by Wei Li Zhu, at the Rendezvous Gallery, Aberdeen, entitled “Halcyon Days”.
There is a time in life when we first become aware of our individuality as a human being, of our becoming a mature adult, a person, an independent entity in the wide world. We are young enough, and innocent enough, to see our present - and especially our future - although in time, as timeless and therefore seemingly endless. At the same time, our inchoate life-experience is graced with an intuitive wisdom touching the temporality of life and the finitude of existence, reflected in a self-conscious awareness that can escape us in later, more settled years. This interlude of young adulthood can indeed be a special time - perhaps all too fleeting - when the balance between what we are and what we will become is charged with infinite possibility and undisclosed meaning. Dream and reality have not yet separated, and life’s passing is briefly held in suspension. Perhaps there is - beyond the quotidian notion of wild youth - a certain peace to be found here, at the intersection of past and future that is the blossoming of the person: an opportunity for nature to portray the true inner self in the fullness of its promise.
These figurative paintings by Wei Li Zhu are, in one sense, portraits of young people, lively yet accurate, precise but poetic. But in another they are compositions imbued with stillness and peace. Here the union of the aesthetic with the subject is mirrored in inner peace and outer vitality: the light of immortality fleetingly glimpsed within the ‘halcyon days’ of youth.
The complete group of paintings can be viewed at Wei Li’s website
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