Xiau-Fong Wee finds inspiration in the bizarre, and strange, as well as the beauty of what the urban environment and nature has to offer; the challenge is to connect what is unknown with what is familiar and create an altered view of aesthetics. After acquiring her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree at the Academy of Art University, Xiau-Fong continues to live and work in San Francisco. She works in oil and acrylic paints, as well as charcoal. We are more than excited to welcome Xiau-Fong for her debut RUN here at 1xRUN as she brings us the intoxicating Reviving Camellia. Read on as we talk with Xiau-Fong about her past influences, her debut RUN and much more in the latest 1xRUN Thru Interview below…
1xRUN Thru Interview
1xRun: Tell us a little bit about the original painting, when was it created? What materials were used?
Xiau-Fong Wee: The original painting is 16 x 24 inches, acrylic paint on canvas. I applied layers of gesso and heat to create an interesting texture on the surface prior to painting. Then it is layers of dry-brushing and glazing, using just acrylic paint and water (no special or slow-drying mediums). The original was created over about a week in January 2011 and it was sold.
1xRun: Tell us how the idea and execution came about?
Xiau-Fong Wee: “Reviving Camellia” was done for a show based on the theme of ‘Rebirth.’ I took the idea of being born again and evolved it into the concept of reawakening, or reenergizing. Caffeine helps everyone re-energize so I focused on tea, specifically Camellia sinensis, a plant famous for its leaves used in brewing tea, and popular for its revitalizing effects. The image has a calming gray tone to it, like the stillness of when life has passed, but even when all is still, life is thriving, in constant construction. Every choice we make is a mark, a notch, in the invisible web we weave, and how we weave, the manner in which we weave determines our future.
1xRun: What is unique about this piece?
Xiau-Fong Wee: The piece is mysterious, yet peaceful. The presence of a figure is barley there; she is lost and merged into her natural surroundings so she does not impose upon the viewer. The scene is familiar in the way that we can connect to the meaning and symbology of the piece.
1xRun: Why should people buy this print?
Xiau-Fong Wee: It’s about energy, tea, and caffeine!!!!! We all love caffeine.
1xRun: Describe the piece in one gut reaction word.
Xiau-Fong Wee: Misty-mythicallic.
1xRun: When did you first start making art? What was your first piece?
Xiau-Fong Wee: As soon as I can hold a pencil ;-) I don’t remember…I don’t know if i can pinpoint a first piece either, I have been drawing for a long time. I guess I can say that I started or organized my work into three sections, Concept, Concrete, and Crinkle a few years ago…
1xRun: What artists inspired you early on?
Xiau-Fong Wee: Oh man, so many things inspire me, and so many artists are great, I love everything life has to offer, no matter how cold and harsh our world is. I am constantly inspired by people….Obviously I am very into surrealism, but I also love traditional work. I guess that is why I have a few different voices in my art.
1xRun: Do you listen to music while you work? If so what? If not then what is your environment like when you work?
Xiau-Fong Wee: Yes!!!! I love music!!! I love to turn up the sound and dance while I work. I listen to everything- rock, country, rap, opera, dubstep, electronic, techno, indie, oldies, disney, soundtracks, hip-hop, trance, pop, alternative, eighties, disco, swing, jazz, international, etc…
1xRun: What was the first piece of art that you bought? Do you still have it?
Xiau-Fong Wee: Another question i am not sure how to answer…anything can be art. I don’t think I ever bought a painting. I remember buying posters of bands I liked when I was a teenager, and buying toys. Toys are art right? The last toy I bought was a toy gun!
1xRun: What else do you have in the works?
Xiau-Fong Wee: I have a couple shows coming up and the one I am painting for is the show in October at 111 Mina Gallery. The show is called “Corporeal Clusters” and will feature work from the Concept series.