Wang Xiyao was born in 1992 in Chongqing, China. The young artist lives and works in Berlin. Wang’s abstract painting can best be described as movement captured on canvas, as expressing a feeling of boundlessness and unbridled life energy. She combines various techniques such as oil and acrylic painting, chalk, graphite and oil sticks. Although her expressive lines draw on the tradition of Asian masters, she works without the classic materials of her homeland.
For Wang, who grew up in modest circumstances in a small country town on the Yangtze River in Southwest China, art was of central importance right from the start – her father is also an artist. Being not only talented, but also hard-working and ambitious, she was accepted to study art at the renowned Sichuan Fine Arts Institute when she was eighteen. After graduating at the age of twenty-two, she emigrated to Germany to discover new perspectives and broaden her view of painting, studying art for a further five years, three of them with Werner Büttner.
Wang prefers abstract painting as her direct and only form of expression. For her, a work usually begins with intensive inspiration, triggered either by external impressions or by her own thoughts and feelings. This inspiration then flows directly into her exploration of form; the artist describes her artistic work as a nearly bodiless process, as if her soul is floating in the air while everything else becomes unimportant. Free from all constraint, lines weave together that find themselves in a constant state of flow, transformation and flight, seemingly wanting to break out of the frame.
Wang sees different materials as being like different people, each with its own personality and its own character. She combines a wide range of techniques, which complement each other superbly in her works. Wang invites everyone to unlock their very own imaginative spaces in her paintings, feeling free to discover her work for themselves and to connect it with their own story. Her works have an ability to sweep the viewer along, allowing a journey into the depths of the picture. Contrasting starkly with European abstract art, Wang's lines are loaded with positive energy. In the Chinese artistic tradition, she admits the beauty and joie de vivre which western art has long since consciously encased in bitterness. Her paintings are a delicate, semi-conscious dance that inspires a feeling of happiness in the viewer, like being touched by nature, akin to how one might feel in springtime.
Looking at the various phases of Wang's work, you can see that she has stayed true to her principles for years. Each individual painting is an important element in her body of work. What links them all is a common approach and Wang’s striving to give voice to her own strong inspiration in each piece.
Text by T. R. Böse, art historian – Berlin, 2021
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