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Owner of Dai Ichi Arts, Ltd:Beatrice Chang

After many years of specializing in Japanese ceramics, I took advantage of the openness and liveliness of the Chinese art scene during the 1990s to look for exciting examples of Chinese ceramics.  The work of Wan Liya quickly caught my attention.  A marriage of tradition and contemporary thought, his forms called to mind ancient Chinese pillow forms and his glazes recalled Chinese ink paintings, while his subject matter astutely commented on social issues in contemporary China.  It was my privilege to introduce the ceramic art of Wan Liya, along with that of other contemporary Chinese ceramic artists, at art fairs in the US.  It was gratifying to discover that others shared my enthusiasm and Wan Liya’s works became sought after by collectors and organizations alike. 

Today Chinese artists in a variety of mediums are fully aware of and responding to international art concerns and markets.  Wan’s career reflects this growing globalization in its diversity and sophistication.  While he continues to work in clay (creating large ceramics murals for hotels, airports and celebrity residences) he has opened himself up to the possibilities of painting, focusing on a unique painting style that melds intention and accident to create works of great beauty and ineffable emotional impact.  

By applying different colors of oil paint on canvas and repeatedly folding  the canvas, Wan produces unexpected color contrasts shot through with parallel and merging lines. The surface is engagingly tactile, the paint so thick and active one wants to feel it and trace its emergence with both hand and eye.  The feeling the paintings elicit is an unlikely blend of simultaneous excitement and tranquility. 

About his work Wan says: “I realize this is out of my control; they are coming from Nature.  It is an excellent manifestation of Nature and human combination.  Just like practicing Chinese Tai Chi, one’s motion is guided by the nature of energy.”

Having witnessed the warm reception Wan’s ceramics experienced in the West, it is my great pleasure now to introduce his paintings and to marvel at his unerring competency in a new medium.

Beatrice Chang
Owner of Dai Ichi Arts, Ltd.

 

 

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