Action In/Action: Paintings by Wei Yifeng
23 February – 26 March 2017
China-born artist Wei Yifeng presents a groundbreaking new series of work entitled Action In/Action or Wu Wei 無為, a “way of nature” philosophy in Taoism. Using various traditional ink-painting and calligraphy formats, Yifeng has adapted the free spirit of ‘Wu Wei’ in her work. She allows the natural energy channel through her brush via ink and color onto the rice paper without intentionally manipulating it. With her initial concept combining with this spontaneity of execution, Yifeng has created some spectacular paintings spinning away from the traditional formats. Yifeng’s work shows harmony among her applications with media and material, and the differential between forms and concepts. They show her deep understanding and interpretation of the concept of ‘Wu Wei 無為’, and has transformed them successfully into this series of works.
About the concept ‘Wu Wei’ 無為: A quote from ‘Shuo Yuan 说苑 – Ming Tao Pian 明道篇 (Garden of Speech – Chapter of Understanding Tao ) : “Tao 道 (The Way) of Nature is fundamentally inaction (Wu Wei 無為), by taking inaction itself is in fact an action.”. In the ‘Book of Tao and Virtue 道德经’, there is a phrase: “act inaction, thus none can’t be solved”. For a Taoist, there are two meanings to inaction: one is Tian Tao 天道 (the Way of Heaven / Nature) the other is Ren Tao 人道 (the Way of Humanity). As for the Confucius, inaction is the way to govern. The Legalism (法家) considers ‘Wu Wei’ is a State with Tao – to govern without governance by a ruler; citizens living in liberty without any official interference.