Wei Jia, Time Flies, 2014, acrylic on canvas, 59 × 78 3/4".

Wei Jia

Leo Xu Projects

Wei Jia, Time Flies, 2014, acrylic on canvas, 59 × 78 3/4".

Shanghai’s frigid winter seemed to resonate through the mildly biting spring, as if the haunting memories of the immediate past were unwilling to fade. Or at least that’s the feeling one was left with after viewing Wei Jia’s solo exhibition “Mildly Biting, Encountering Spring,” consisting of nine new paintings from the past three years. The outlook in these imaginary landscapes remains ambivalent, fearful, and anguished.

Wei seems to have taken a step back in order to get a larger view of the world. Rather than evoking the inner world of an individual, as in his previous work, here the artist projects a broader imaginative slant. The scene is typically rendered in broad and quick brushstrokes; at times, his facile technique even recalls the generic skills that Bob Ross taught on television. Yet Wei is not preoccupied with his quickly executed and unsophisticated brushwork, or with

to keep reading

Artforum print subscribers have full access to this article. If you are a subscriber, sign in below.

Not registered for Register here.

SUBSCRIBE NOW for only $50 a year—65% off the newsstand price—and get the print magazine plus full online access to this issue and our archive.*

Order the PRINT EDITION of the September 2015 issue for $17 or the ONLINE EDITION for $5.99.

* This rate applies to U.S. domestic subscriptions.