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January 28, 2021

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Painter takes a drive through ‘Hometown Elsewhere’

PAINTER Wang Hui’s solo exhibition “Hometown Elsewhere” opens today in a century-old wooden mansion in Songjiang District.

The 44-year-old Shanxi Province native, who settled down in Songjiang five years ago, finds his niche in Chinese ink painting, inspired by Songjiang’s natural scenery, folk arts and culture.

With his free-flowing lines and mighty strokes, the paintings on display vary from traditional opera figures, the countryside to Shanghai old houses and bustling city life. One of his most important artwork series is “Shanghai’s Old Architecture.” He doesn’t stick rigidly to the details. The lines in the pictures are sprawling and flowing in a free and relaxing way. Large patches of black hues are used, making the city scene stifling and choking.

The century-old Wing On Department Store on Nanjing Road W., under Wang’s brushes, is tilting, as if it’s going to fall down. It creates a tension in the picture with a sense of oppression.

In the first two years after he came to Shanghai, Wang lived and worked near Huqiu Road, a typical Shanghai lane near the Bund.

In another painting, the artist depicts a small street. The lines of the buildings, the windows and even the distant Oriental Pearl TV Tower are twisted and distorted, making them look messy and weather-beaten.

His opera figure painting series is what makes the artist stand out. Having grown up in north China, he enjoyed watching traditional opera at weddings, funerals and temple fairs. The opera figures in Wang’s paintings are bold-colored with exaggerated facial expressions and body gestures. Yet fine-grained, untamed lines are featured from the embroidery patterns to the carefully carved window frames.


Date: Through February 28 (closed on Mondays), 9am-4pm

Venue: The Wangs Heritage House

Address: 136-138 Zhongshan Rd W., Songjiang


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