Wei Xiang


6 PM
1053 Budapest
Foton Gallery
Képíró utca 6.
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When I started to engage with photography more deeply, it was mainly in the documentary movement that I discovered realism in photography. However, I realised that reality is chaotic, the world around us is disorderly, and many noises and distractions interfere with the creation of images. Even though I try to expose at the best angle and moment, when the shutter of the camera opens, all the hidden and visible, wanted and unwanted elements of reality are captured in the image. Later, as I’m looking at the photograph, I feel that natural or physical phenomena or simply chance have created a disturbance in the image that destroys it.

Unlike photography, painting is the product of the artist's subjective ideas and thoughts. The subject matter, composition and colour of a painting are chosen by the artist to interpret their thoughts and emotions. In the studio, the painter can control the creative process more easily. On the other hand, when taking photographs, real life always leads me by the nose.

It is common in contemporary photographic practice to manipulate digitally produced photography with digital tools. The aim is to achieve a "painting-like" effect, but this is only a technology and does not lend the photograph any uniqueness.

I am a painter by training, with a degree in painting. During my artistic studies I became acquainted with aesthetic and compositional problems. I have become well versed in colour theory, spatial perception and the construction of the image. Armed with this kind of artistic vision, I began to photograph. I was mainly interested in how to make a photograph unique, what means I could use as a painter to reinterpret and highlight the subject of a photograph. Colours and colouring gave me the answer. But I didn't want to make a colour photo using a physico-chemical or digital process, but to interpret the subject of the photos by subjective colouring. So in recent years I have experimented with different forms of painting on my photographs. I have either painted directly onto the prints of the images, as photographers did a hundred years ago, or I have covered them with thick oil paint and kept only a few highlighted elements of the image. I also experimented with printing the photographs on paper and canvas. I try to speak a visual language that allows the painting techniques to blend with the photographic. Through the use of colour and highlighting, I aim to preserve the documentary value of the photograph as a subjective interpretation of reality.

In this exhibition I display my experiments, a combination of my photographic and painting work. My works are both photographs and paintings - I call these attempts photographic painting.

This exhibition is supported by the National Cultural Fund.