Bio

Ming Wang is a painter and illustrator based in New York.

Statement

My work combines different imagistic rules and visual languages to create new dimensions, which are almost always located in a “wonder-world.” These reflect reality - from personal experiences, to events happening in our surroundings. I place characters in different settings, experiment with space and rhythm, and then create paintings that become a curious simulacra.

In my painting series “Journey to the West,” I depict a barbie doll that resembles me, wandering in the stereotypical American landscape. The title comes from a Chinese classic fiction of the same name. The novel is a narrative about the pilgrimage of a monk and his three disciples traveling to India (west of ancient China) for Buddhist scriptures. The fascinations and mystery of “the west” and the protagonists’ journey largely parallel my childhood encounter with Western symbols and my experience as an international student pursuing art in the United States. Global pop symbols constantly penetrate into my work. I am all too familiar with these symbols—My Little Pony, Barbie, and western cowboys, yet they also betray my sense of alienation. I grew up with them, my hometown factories produced them, but they are hardly all I am or where I belong. They are fantasies of both the American and Chinese dreams, mass-produced and sold around the world. I imagine myself as characters in my work--made in China, sauntering in the West, and pondering my identity.

Through making art, I search for my position in the contemporary world.

During my study at the School of Visual Arts, I was introduced to various narrative artists, including Edward Hopper, Cindy Sharman, Peter Saul, and Roger Brown. I am interested in the narrative and surreal quality of their works, which became some of the qualities I search for in my practice. I combine different imagistic rules and visual languages to create new dimensions, which almost always end up in a “wonder-world.” They reflect reality--from personal experiences to events happening in our surroundings.

When COVID-19 hit in early 2020, I fled New York to reside with my aunt in California. Over the last eight months, the unfortunate human confinement in the pandemic constantly disturbs me. That gave rise to my new painting series, “Inescapable Doll House.” This concept has three facades --the actual house that I am not capable of leaving in the lockdown, the inescapable nature of personas, and the individual’s lack of ability to control one’s life against an inconstant history...much like a plastic doll. In my new works, I am also incorporating objects and video into my language.

Art is observing, discovering, and figuring out things from our unique perspective. I often start projects with a vague motif or direction that will hopefully lead to an intriguing image. The trigger may include objects that weirdly attract me or the atmosphere created from music or film. When I start painting, I keep asking myself questions and making choices, and I gradually notice what the work is trying to tell me.

© 2020, Ming Wang.

Bio

Ming Wang is a painter and illustrator based in New York.

Statement

My work combines different imagistic rules and visual languages to create new dimensions, which are almost always located in a “wonder-world.” These reflect reality - from personal experiences, to events happening in our surroundings. I place characters in different settings, experiment with space and rhythm, and then create paintings that become a curious simulacra.

In my painting series “Journey to the West,” I depict a barbie doll that resembles me, wandering in the stereotypical American landscape. The title comes from a Chinese classic fiction of the same name. The novel is a narrative about the pilgrimage of a monk and his three disciples traveling to India (west of ancient China) for Buddhist scriptures. The fascinations and mystery of “the west” and the protagonists’ journey largely parallel my childhood encounter with Western symbols and my experience as an international student pursuing art in the United States. Global pop symbols constantly penetrate into my work. I am all too familiar with these symbols—My Little Pony, Barbie, and western cowboys, yet they also betray my sense of alienation. I grew up with them, my hometown factories produced them, but they are hardly all I am or where I belong. They are fantasies of both the American and Chinese dreams, mass-produced and sold around the world. I imagine myself as characters in my work--made in China, sauntering in the West, and pondering my identity.

Through making art, I search for my position in the contemporary world.

During my study at the School of Visual Arts, I was introduced to various narrative artists, including Edward Hopper, Cindy Sharman, Peter Saul, and Roger Brown. I am interested in the narrative and surreal quality of their works, which became some of the qualities I search for in my practice. I combine different imagistic rules and visual languages to create new dimensions, which almost always end up in a “wonder-world.” They reflect reality--from personal experiences to events happening in our surroundings.

When COVID-19 hit in early 2020, I fled New York to reside with my aunt in California. Over the last eight months, the unfortunate human confinement in the pandemic constantly disturbs me. That gave rise to my new painting series, “Inescapable Doll House.” This concept has three facades --the actual house that I am not capable of leaving in the lockdown, the inescapable nature of personas, and the individual’s lack of ability to control one’s life against an inconstant history...much like a plastic doll. In my new works, I am also incorporating objects and video into my language.

Art is observing, discovering, and figuring out things from our unique perspective. I often start projects with a vague motif or direction that will hopefully lead to an intriguing image. The trigger may include objects that weirdly attract me or the atmosphere created from music or film. When I start painting, I keep asking myself questions and making choices, and I gradually notice what the work is trying to tell me.