YUI Gallery’s exhibition, ‘The Somniloquist’ presents Dawei Wang and Fang Fu’s visual explorations of people, spaces, and memories of the outer world. The exhibition will feature Dawei’s recent paintings produced in America, alongside Fang’s The Stranger, a series of pencil and charcoal works that cohere into a wordless narrative. Through disparate studio processes, Dawei and Fang express common modalities through their bodies of work. After three years of life in America and a defamiliarization of context, their work records inner experiences informed by external life. While Dawei highlights these sentiments through loud, stimulating color palettes, Fang utilizes subtle tones that manifest themselves into surreal, murmuring forms.
Dawei has always expressed great interest in capturing the relationship between people and their environment, particularly in the bustling cityscape of his native Shanghai. After coming to America and adjusting to an unfamiliar environment, his tendencies toward observing urban life only grew. Feelings of self-exile and isolation informed major creative shifts for the artist. His work moved away from depictions of large, frenzied groups to subdued, quiet moments of solitude. Dawei draws inspiration from the lives of laborers, security guards, and banal instances of isolation whereby everyday people demonstrate their nomadic temperament in a cold, grey city. In his newest paintings, Dawei juxtaposes this internal struggle through the insertion of primary colors and bursts of emerald green in an attempt to disrupt feelings of detachment. While the figures depicted are shown at a distance, they are surrounded by large patches of space, filled with rich and unpredictable textures that echo the volatility of the urban environment.
Fang’s obsessive interest in drawing and book making stems from her desire to fabricate private spaces that invite viewers to revisit their memories. Though she received her MFA in Illustration Practice from the Maryland Institute College of Art, her previous academic focus in sociology has informed her deeply rational approach to art making. This self-identification as a researcher, scholar, and academic is in stark contrast with the surrealist elements of her work. In her wordless novel ‘The Stranger’, anonymous figures, sparse landscapes, and disused interiors weave together into a journey to no-where. Fang prefers simple analogue materials to compose soft and blurred images, portraying spaces caught in a lingering mist. These moments are extractions from ancient dreams, divorced from any specific location or time. Through this obfuscation, she explores the ways in which visual language challenges our conceptions of memory, emotion, and rationality.
This is a nonprofit exhibition.