“What matters is personal awareness and supreme pursuit, the courage to take risks, freedom, ease and natural expression.”
The Formative Years: Beijing to Berlin
Born in Beijing in 1960, Li Jiwei demonstrated an early passion for art that led him to enroll in the Central Academy of Fine Arts. There, he earned a Bachelor of Literature in Traditional Chinese Painting. Subsequently, Li Jiwei shared his expertise as an instructor in the Department of Fine Arts at Beijing’s Film Academy.
Seeking to expand his horizons, Li Jiwei ventured to the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna, where he pursued Abstract Painting under the tutelage of esteemed Prof. Markus Prachensky. Earning a Master’s degree and receiving the prestigious “Goldener Fügerpreis” award for his remarkable academic performance, Li Jiwei emerged as a distinguished artist.
Li Jiwei’s expertise is demonstrated by his immersion in Multimedia at the University of the Arts in Berlin. He currently resides in both China and Germany, constantly producing remarkable works of art that consistently capture the attention of audiences.
The Creative Process: Artistry and Inspiration
Although Li Jiwei initially studied traditional painting, he has found his true calling in the realm of large-scale spatial installations. The artist perceives his role as a conduit for expressing unique ideas and self-awareness through a diverse array of forms and techniques. Li Jiwei particularly relishes the creative freedom afforded by his chosen medium: the transformation of a two-dimensional concept into a three-dimensional spatial configuration that ultimately conveys abstract emotions and consciousness. To him, the act of artistic creation is the inception of a more profound exploration, ultimately leading to a refined and succinct expression.
Inspiration for Li Jiwei is derived from a myriad of sources, including the intricacies of human existence, societal events, and novel developments in science and technology. Life, in all its facets, serves as a wellspring of creative ideas for him. His installations often pose questions on man’s future but do not provide answer. Li Jiwei’s art work leaves questions unanswered.
You can find art everywhere with the individual is an important aspect of the creative process. For example, cooking – it is an art combining different ingredients, cuisines, and spices. For Li Jiwei, cooking is a process akin to crafting a work of art.
The Masterpiece: Dissecting “CUT”
In each artistic creation, the expression evolves over time, rendering it impossible to encapsulate every nuance within a single work. However, one particular installation by Li Jiwei warrants special attention: “CUT.”
Two decades ago, the artist meticulously dissected a monitor, arranging the fragments before encapsulating them in polyurethane. This thought-provoking piece offers an insightful examination of the impact technological advancements have on human evolution and societal development, as well as the ways in which cutting-edge technology shapes human interaction with nature, worship, and culture.
Li Jiwei’s “CUT” installation presents the observer with a computer dissected into segments, each brimming with a ceaselessly pulsating flow of data. This information is tangible, yet abstract, blurring the boundaries between the physical object and an uncharted realm of indeterminate significance. The installation demonstrates that transformation resides within our perception; it is not embedded in the computer’s individual components, but rather, it emerges from our interpretation and understanding of the technology.
The Evolution: Blending Ink Painting and Abstract Art
Li Jiwei’s artistic journey has been marked by a synthesis of ink painting and abstract art, both of which he perceives as inherently connected and continuously evolving. His fascination with biology, genetics, and outer space has been a driving force in his oeuvre, influencing the themes that dominate his creative output.
The evolution of style transcends mere alterations in superficial form. Throughout Li Jiwei’s artistic journey, he began by delving into traditional Oriental ink techniques, subsequently acquiring a comprehensive understanding of artistic structures. Gradually, he incorporated elements of abstract Western color compositions, transforming the expressive nature of his creations. Li Jiwei’s art embodies a continuous thread, reflecting his self-awareness and individuality. His work serves as a conduit to convey his perceptions of society, life, universal expanse, and the ever-changing course of human development.
In his words: “I have no words to explain my works further. I merely wish to employ all my sensitivity for the purpose of letting my art work, consciously conceived as an experiment beyond the confines of the normal, show what the freedom of modern art means to me.”