Chen Wei at M97, Shanghai
Spearheading the Chinese artistic revolution with his contemporary take on photographic convention - Chen Wei represents a new generation of Chinese creative, freed from the shackles of political strife that so informed his forebears.
Producing high-colour, large-scale still life-esque photographs, Wei has taken on one of the West’s most specific and history-rooted artistic modes with eye-catching success.
Featuring a range of work produced over the span of the past two years, the exhibition at Shanghai’s M97 Gallery (Wei’s first in the city) will showcase some of the most important work from this Hangzhou and Beijing-based artist.
Infatuated with the many eccentricities of early Western medicine, alchemy and philosophy - Wei’s intricately constructed tableaux take taxidermy, melted wax, insects and a whole host of equally evocative objects as their subject.
Building intricate, abstract narratives around his chosen objects by placing them in jarring, unexpected configurations, Wei artfully plays with age old notions of symbolism and allegory – creating an eerie air of foreboding around each photograph.
Sketched out in his studio before being photographed, the still life set-ups feel both staged and incidental. Capturing an equal sense of considered stillness and creative chance, Wei’s photographs represent some of the most innovative work to be making its way out of the People’s Republic.