guan wei

artist in residence 2004

Guan Wei graduated in 1986 from the Department of Fine Arts at Beijing Capital University. He first visited Australia in 1989 to take up a two-month residency at the Tasmanian School of Art. He was invited to undertake two further residencies in the early 1990s: one at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Sydney, the other at the Canberra School of Art. Guan Wei became an Australian resident in 1993 under the Distinguished Talent Scheme.

He has held thirty solo exhibitions and has been included in numerous important contemporary exhibitions in Australia and internationally. Guan Wei has also been awarded many prizes including the Asia Link Grant, the Mosman Art Prize, the 39th Festival of Fisher’s Ghost Award and in 2002 he was awarded The Sulman Prize, from the Art Gallery of NSW. His work often refers to current social and environmental issues, made more potent by his experience of two vastly differing cultures. Throughout all he "aims for the trifecta of 'wisdom, knowledge and humour' in every painting." [Linda Jaivin, Australian Art Collector, #20].

This irrepressible sense of humour and love for his new country pervades Guan Wei’s new paintings; evident in the placement of the small figure of Ned Kelly [based on Nolan’s famous images] encountering or escaping troopers set in traditional Chinese landscapes.