Guo Wei is one of the community of artists from Chengdu, Sichuan province. The art of these artists is lyrical and subtle. They are almost all investigating the individual, the personality, the development of the self in the new liberalising China.
Born in Sichuan Province in 1960, Guo Wei has exhibited internationally since 1988. His compositions are realistic, resembling photographs, yet upon closer inspection they reveal disturbing distortions and indistinct facial expressions that may surprise the viewer. While his earlier work primarily depicted children, Guo Wei's recent paintings record the awkward egotism of adolescence. But the essence of his painting, no matter how distanced it may seem, turns on the treatment of private emotion. His latest works are executed in monochromatic tones that intimately depict the subject of his daughter and friends.
Guo Wei concentrates on scenes from everyday life in his paintings, focussing on the individual rather than on grander social issues. The isolation of the individual as subject is a predominant element in the Chinese avant garde. Since the communist system heavily favours the collectivity and, formerly, the only “individuals” of interest were those ideal peasants and workers of the communist propaganda machine, this focus on the individual is an expression of contemporary artistic liberty as well as being a novelty yet to be fully explored. Guo Wei says one of the things he explores is the restless nature of teenage children. He is searching for the expression of an emotion as well as an image.