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 welcome her back for her second RUN with us the intricately detailed Riches. Read on below as we talk with Xiau-Fong Wee about her latest print, past influences and much much more in the latest 1xRUN Thru Interview…
1xRUN Thru Interview
Riches by Xiau-Fong Wee
1xRun: Tell us a little bit about the original painting, when was it created? What materials were used? Is it still for sale?
Xiau-Fong Wee: The original painting of “Riches” was made using acrylic paint on a 30 x 30 inch canvas. Thick blobs of paint were applied, lots of dry brushing and painting over shapes, monochromatic forms are built up, and glazed over with washes of color. The original is still for sale here at 1xRUN for $1800.
1xRun: Tell us how the idea and execution came about? How long did this piece take from start to finish?
Xiau-Fong Wee: My paintings tend to be based off of random ideas, sayings, and expressions. “Riches” visually represents the saying that “money is the root of all evil.” Various symbolic elements make up the composition of the work: The pennies give root to organic form composed of various (arguably) evil elements found in our natural environment. Poisonous flowers, stinging insects, the snake eye (symbolic of evil from the story of Adam and Eve in which the snake gives Eve the apple) make up one hell of a piggy bank! The image is a cycle that reminds us of the constant striving and reaching for something we feel we need to survive in life. I would say this piece took about a week, 6+ hours a day.
1xRun: What is unique about this piece?
Xiau-Fong Wee: Besides being a piece that many can relate to due to its meaning and symbolism, it is also a visual cycle and balance of movement. The forms are in motion, yet at the same time statue-like. There is metamorphosis and transformation, but there is also a sense of preservation, like a fossil. It is a crazy, unique, and one of a kind yin-yang!
1xRun: Why should people buy this print?
Xiau-Fong Wee: It is fun to look at! The forms flow in and out of one another in a swirl of colors. It is also a good conversational piece and a good piece to look at while daydreaming.
1xRun: Describe the piece in one gut reaction word.
Xiau-Fong Wee: Bonanza
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? How about as of late?
Xiau-Fong Wee: I have always been inspired by so many things and so many people. It would be hard to specify…I remember growing up loving cartoons I would watch on Nickelodeon and the illustrations in many books. Of course, like many other artists, Dali was a big name in the early days, and as I ventured deeper into the art world, I discovered an endless stream of artists who have inspired me. One of my favorite books growing up was “Masters of Deception” a compilation of great artists of illusion.
I am inspired by so many creative people around me, but lately I have found myself paging through images of old scientific illustrations. It is amazing that back in those times studying science also entailed having artistic skill and sharp observational skills. Many illustrations are unsigned so I do not know who created them, but one well known scientific illustrator, Ernst Haeckel, comes to mid. He is amazing.
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!