Huang Wenya—Performance as Art, Art as a Performance

TEXT:Sue Wang    DATE: 2018.10.30

Albert Camus once said that, no artist can live without reality. Art can question reality, but art cannot escape from reality. Compared with most mature artworks, the living conditions and life stories behind the art production seem to be more intriguing. Taking from the first-person perspective, CAFA ART INFO is now presenting you with our latest micro video program, “Art Walk: Behind the Scenes”. With a focus on individual artists’ life stories, we will take you on a tour to explore how an artist actually works and lives in real-life situations. This series will be filmed at a part of the artists’ studios at some art districts in Beijing. Each artist’s unique character will be revealed to our audience in a more realistic and tangible way.

Born in Hunan province, China, Huang Wenya graduated from the School of Experimental Art, CAFA, in 2015, with a master’s degree. His works cover video, photography, installation and performance art. Now he works and lives in Beijing.Screenshot of the video on Wang WenyaScreenshot of the video on Wang Wenya

In the past decade, the artist has done a series of performance photographs. “The Smoke Series” is one of his most novel works which was created between 2011 and 2012. These photos involve a variety of scenes in which the artist holds a smoking torch in different locations. The torch shown in the image was made by the artist himself, with a baseball bat and an iron lunch box. The heavy smoke rises from the torch and penetrates various scenes and spaces. Sometimes it’s a lake within remote mountains, sometimes it’s within a city made of steel concrete structures. The artist attempts to express how he feels towards these various scenes.Screenshot of the video on Wang WenyaScreenshot of the video on Wang WenyaAt the moment, along with making art, he also has a part-time job teaching the art basis course in a university. Huang has been thinking of selling his artworks so as to support himself as a freelance artist, and he attended many artist residency programs. In some way, he’s an intellectually active and ambitious artist.Screenshot of the video on Wang WenyaScreenshot of the video on Wang Wenya

Courtesy of CAFA ART INFO