Wei Ligang

1964, Datong City China

Introduction

Originally trained in mathematics and Chinese calligraphy, Wei Ligang has undoubtedly tapped into his analytical genius to revolutionize traditional calligraphy. Initially playing with the traditional rules and structures of classic calligraphy, Wei has since pushed past textual playfulness into a purely abstract form. He is well known for his “Wei squares” formula in which individual characters are deconstructed and reformed within the boundaries of a square (or circular) shape, resulting in the abstraction of traditional forms, while maintaining their roots in Chinese culture. Recently he has been experimenting with new materials like lacquer and propylene, attempting to bridge the divide between avant-garde calligraphy and Western art forms.

 

A recipient of the 2005 Asian Cultural Council Fellowship for Visual Art, Wei was featured in the group show Brushes with Surprise: The Art of Calligraphy in Mode n China, British Museum, UK (2002), and solo shows China in Ink & Wash: Exhibition of Wei Ligang’s Works at the ShanghaiArt Museum (2006), followed by Wei Ligang Calligraphy Art at the National Art Museum of China, Beijing (2007).Alisan has worked with Wei Ligang since 2004 and heldtwo solo exhibitions for him (2006, 2015). We included hisworks in the ACC Fellows group show in 2011, Ink Asiain 2015, and three times at Art Basel Hong Kong (2013,2015, 2018). His work is collected by British Museum, London, UK; Asian Art Museum, San Francisco, USA; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, USA; Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Seattle, USA; Cernuschi Museum, Paris, France; Francois- Henri Pinault Family, France; National Art Museum of China and National Museum of China, Beijing, China.



BIOGRAPHY

1964   Born in Datong City, Shanxi, China
1975   Learned Chinese opera and painting from his father when he was a child
1981   Graduated from Nankai University, Tianjin, China, with a major in mathematics
Student of famous Tianjin calligraphers Li Henian , Wang Xuezhong  and Sun Boxiang 
1985   Taught mathematics in Taiyuan, Shanxi, China
Began to study Fushan style calligraphy
1989   Published Wei Ligang’s Calligraphy and Seal Carving
1991   Graduated from advanced course at Sha Menghai Calligraphy College, Ningbo, China
1992   Documentary programme , Fen River Loves You produced by UNICEF introducing his modern calligraphy
1995   Settled in Beijing, China
Guest lecturer at Qinghua University, Beijing, China
Established Song Feng Xuan Gallery, Beijing, China, the first gallery to showcase modern calligraphy
1998   Attended symposium The Development of Chinese Modern Calligraphy, Gaoyou, Jiangsu, China
Vice president of Chinese Modern Calligraphy Association and Director of its reviewing committee
1999   Published Calligraphy Album Pseudo-Masters
Organized Bashu Parade-99 Chengdu, Retrospective of Chinese Modern Calligraphy at the End of 20th Century with Pu Lieping
2000   Reuters produced a special programme introducing his modern calligraphy
2001   Invited to give lecture on Chinese calligraphy in Australia
Organized 4-artists group exhibition The Dimension of Chinese Characters, Beijing, China
Organized Zero Degree Project, a Chinese contemporary behavior art and installation show, Beijing, China
Guest of symposia, He Xiang Ning Art Gallery, Shenzhen; Artist Commune, Hong Kong
2004   Opened the Senior Modern Calligrapgic Workshop at Artist Commune, Hong Kong 
2005   Fellowship grantee of Asian Cultural Council Hong Kong
Travelled to New York to do research on recent development in contemporary art, and visited American Abstract artist Brice Marden’s studio
Professor of Beijing Normal University Zhuhai Campus, Guangdong, China
2011   Established International Shuxiang Society, Beijing, China
Present Vice President of Modern Calligraphy Art Association of China
Member of Beijing Art Committee of China Democratic League
Lives and works in Beijing, China
2017   Established Wei's Private Museum, Jiangxi, China
Invited to create logo plaque for Royal Huntsman
Present     Vice-President of Modern Calligraphy Art Association of China
Member of Beijing Art Committee of China Democratic League
President of International Shuxiang Society
Lives and works in Beijing, China

SELECTED SOLO EXHIBITIONS
2018
  • Wei Ligang: Luminous Birds,Gajah Gallery, Singapore

2017
  • The Opening Exhibition for Wei's Private Museum, Jiangxi, China
  • Beyond Three Perfections, Ireland Dublin Castel, Ireland 
  • Thinking Ink, Gajah Gallery, Singapore
2016
  • Songs of the Phoenix Mirror, Ink Studio, Beijing, China
  • Universal Things Examine: 20 Years Retrospective Exhibition, Beijing 3 Gallery, Beijing, China
2015
2014 
  • Wei Ligang: Chinese Palaces, Michael Goedhuis, New York, USA
2012
  • Zao Jian Wei’s Shi Xiang, Being 3 Gallery, Beijing, China


2011
  • Banquet of Magnificence-Shu Xiang: Wei Ligang, Being 3 Gallery,  Beijing, China
2010
  • Gold Union: 2010 Graphimage by Wei Ligang, Contrasts Gallery, Shanghai, China
  • China New Ink Painting, Goedhuis Contemporary, New York, USA
2008
  • Performance Calligraphy, Panties Castles, France
  • Wei Ligang: The New Ink Painting, Goedhuis Contemporary, New York, USA

2007
  • Zhi Kan: Wei Ligang’s Calligraphic Art Exhibition, National Art Museum of China, Beijing, China
  • Oriental Toem: Wei Ligang & Wash Exhibition, Shanghai Art Museum, Shanghai, China
2006
  • China in Ink & Wash: Works by Wei Ligang, Shanghai Art Museum, Shanghai, China
  • New Works by Wei Ligang, Alisan Fine Arts, Hong Kong
2004
  • On the Journey, He Xiang Ning Art Museum, Shenzhen, China
1999
  • Diary in Rongcheng, Taiyuan, China
1996
  • Worms, To Make Chinese Characters Cursive, Beijing, China
1992
  • Retrospective Exhibition of Calligraphy & Seal Carving, Taiyuan, China
1988
  • Calligraphy & Seal Carving, Tianjin; Beijing; Taiyuan, China
1985
  • Calligraphy, Paintings and Seal Carving, Tianjin, China
1983
  • Calligraphy Exchange between Kagawa University Japan and Nankai University, Tianjin, China

SELECTED GROUP EXHIBITIONS
2018
  • Asian Cultural Council Fellows Annual Exhibition 2018: A Charity Exhibition of Works by ACC Alumni, Alisan Fine Arts, Hong Kong

  • The Voice of the Brush Part 2, Alisan Fine Arts, Hong Kong
  • Chinese Abstraction, Art Basel Hong Hong, Alisan Fine Arts, Hong Kong Convention & Exhibition Centre, Hong Kong
  • MoInk: Contemporary Art Invitational Exhibition, Chun Art Museum, Shanghai, China
  • Masterpiece London, Goedhus Contemporary, London, UK
  • 2017
  • Changing China: Contemporary Ink Art, Michael Goedhuis, New York, USA

  • Christie's Spring: Contemporary Asian Art, Christie's, Hong Kong
  • Art 021 Shanghai Contemporary Art Fair, Shanghai Exhibition Centre, Shanghai, China
2016
2015
2013
2011
2010
2009
  • The Orchid Pavilion: The Art of Writing in China, Royal Museum of Fine Arts, Brussels, Belgium
  • 1st Chinese Ink Travelling Exhibition, Linzhou; Shanghai; Beijing, China
  • Ink and Non-ink, Eastern EuropeTravelling Exhibition, Museum of Cesarski Palace, Poland; Museum of Hungarian Agricultural, Hungary; National Museum of Contemporary Art, Romania; Sculpture Museum of Academy of Sciences and Arts, Croatia
  • Hong Kong International Arts & Antiques Fair, Alisan Fine Arts, Hong Kong Convention & Exhibition Centre, Hong Kong
  • Ink Painting, Calligraphy: The Third Abstraction, Contrasts Gallery, Shanghai, China
2008
  • Calligraphy-Painting, Huangcheng Art Mseum, Beijing, China
  • New Scene of Ink Art, Dresden National Museum of Art, Dresden, Germany
  • Ink and Non-ink, Shenzhen Art Museum, Shenzhen, China
  • Calligraphy Performing Art, Chateau Padiès, France
  • The Colour of Water, Today Art Museum, Beijing, China
2007
  • Poetry and Calligraphy Performance: China and France, Beijing, China 
  • 2nd Exhibition by Artists of Song Zhuang Ink Union, Beijing, China 
  • Chengdu Biennial, Chengdu Contemporary Art Museum, Chengdu, China
  • Contemporary Ink Art Exhibition, Shifang Art Museum, Zhengzhou, China
2006
  • Long Menzhen: Modern Calligraphy by Ten Artists, Luoyang Art Museum, Luoyang, China
  • Chinese Ink Painting During the Past Thirty Years, Nanjing, China
  • Modernity in Ink and Wash: Exhibition by Artists of Song Zhuang Ink Union, Beijing, China
  • Cursive Calligraphy, Performance collaborated with modern dancer Yin Mei, New York City University, New York, USA
2005
  • The Act of Writing and Non-writing: The Open Space for Chinese Calligraphy, International Exhibition of Modern Calligraphy, China Academy of Art, Hangzhou, China
  • Crossing Boundaries: Works by Asian Cultural Council Fellows 2005, Lee Garden, Hong Kong
  • Ink and Diffusion: International Exhibition of Modern Calligraphy, Seoul, South Korea
2004
  • Chinese Characters As a Resource, 4A Gallery, Sydney, Australia
  • Chinese Characters: A Confusing Situation, Today Art Museum, Beijing, China
  • 2 Ink Brushes, Chinese Calligraphy Bi-exhibition: Jat Seeyeu-Classical Hong Kong; Wei Ligang-Contemporary Beijing, Artist Commune, Hong Kong
2003
  • International Contemporary Art of Ink, Xi’an, China
  • New Experiences in Chinese Characters and Its Writing During the Past Twenty Years, Artist Commune, Hong Kong
2002
  • Brushes with Surprise: The Art of Calligraphy in Modern China, British Museum, London, UK
2000
  • The International Calligraphy Literature, Taiwan Museum of Fines Art, Taichung, Taiwan
1999
  • Bashu Parade-99 Chengdu, Retrospective of Chinese Modern Calligraphy at the End of the Century, Chengdu, China
1998
  • New Main Line Salon Exhibition, Taiyuan, China
1997
  • Seven Painters of Yuanming Yuan, Beijing, China
1995
  • Chinese Masters in Modern Calligraphy, Liuzhou, China
  • 1st International Biennale of Modern Calligraphy, Hangzhou, China
1992
  • Exhibition of Calligraphy: Shanxi China and Saitama Japan, Taiyuan, China

SELECTED PUBLIC COLLECTIONS
British Museum, London, UK
Asian Art Museum, San Francisco, USA
Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Seattle,USA
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, USA
International Education Fund
Lucy Billingsley, Crow Collection of Asian Art 

Bank of Switzerland, Switzerland
Credit Suisse

Origo Family Foundation, Switzerland
Francois-Henri Pinault Family
Museum of Cernuschi, Paris, France
Buchmann Museum, Berlin, Germany
National Art Museum of China, Beijing, China
Today Art Museum, Beijing,China
Capital Club, Beijing, China  
China Red Cross Society of China, Beijing, China
Swiss Chamber of Commerce in China
Daming Hall, Beijing National Art Museum of China, Beijing, China
Chengdu International Convention & Exhibition Centre, Chengdu, China
Xunyao Chinese Characters Art Museum, Chengdu, China
Bizhen Art Foundation, Shenzhen, China
He Xiangning Art Museum, Shenzhen, China
Artist Commune, Hong Kong
Rotary Club, Hong Kong
Bank of Macau, Macau
 
Butterflies Dance Lightly as Spring Approaches
2014 | 96x90cm | Chinese ink & acrylic on paper
Reeds like Elegant Bamboo Flutes
2014 | 96x90cm | Chinese ink & acrylic on paper
Foliage Flourishing like a Waterfall
2014 | 96x90cm | Chinese ink & acrylic on paper
Fiery Trees and Silver Flowers
2011 | 180x96cm | Chinese ink & acrylic on paper
Qing Hai Zahn Yun
2005 | 360x96cm | Chinese ink & colour on paper
Immersed in Calligraphy
2014 | 180x96.5cm | Chinese ink & acrylic on paper
Recipe for Good Herbs – diptych
2009 | 245X123cm/96.5X48.5 X 2 | Chinese ink & acrylic on paper
Gold Ancient Script
2010 | 180X96cm | Chinese ink & acrylic on paper
An Auspicious Bird Flying above the Golden Palace
2012 | 96.5x90.5cm | Chinese ink & acrylic on paper
Swallows on a Nanmu Tree
2014 | 68x68cm | Chinese ink & acrylic on paper
Butterflies in the Cloud
2014 | 68x68cm | Chinese ink & acrylic on paper
The Old Song of Plum Terrace
2014 | 96x90cm | Chinese ink & acrylic on paper
A Ravine Full of Lush Trees
2014 | 180x96.5cm | Chinese ink & acrylic on paper
Bird and “L”
2014 | 123x123cm | Chinese ink & acrylic on paper
Peacock - Emerald Green Cloud
2017 | 180x96cm/71x35 3/4'' | Chinese ink & acrylic on rice paper
French Plum Blossoms No.2 — Yang
2015 | 96X180cm | Chinese ink & acrylic on paper
Peacock – Magnificent
2013 | 180x96.5cm | Chinese ink & acrylic on paper
Golden Plum Blossoms
2008 | 122x245cm | Chinese ink & acrylic on paper
Peacock – Rouge II
2012 | 245x123cm | Chinese ink & acrylic on paper
Peacock – Red
2014 | 136x69cm | Chinese ink & acrylic on paper
Peacock – Purple
2014 | 136x69cm | Chinese ink & acrylic on paper
The King’s Concubine – Dai
2014 | 61x96cm | Chinese ink & acrylic on paper
The King’s Concubine – Zhen
2014 | 57.5x96cm | Chinese ink & acrylic on paper
Dragon and Phoenix Dancing on the Sky’s Stage
2014 | 123x250cm | Chinese ink & acrylic on paper
Rain Dream
2014 | 97x95cm | Chinese ink & acrylic on paper