Wang Wenting—From Professional Designer to Artist, is it an Advance or a Retreat?

TEXT:Sue Wang    DATE: 2019.2.26

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.

“Art Walk: Behind the Scenes”

Episode 8: Wang Wenting

(Time:03' 02'')

Wang Wenting, A Part of Everything, watercolor on wooden board, 50x40cm, 2018

The artist Wang Wenting was born in Yanshi in Henan Province. Wang majored in Art Education during her undergraduate years. She spent seven years in the haute couture industry in Beijing. In 2013, she quit her job as a designer, and started her new career as an artist by learning painting under the guidance of the artists Duan Zhenqu and Duan Jianwei. In 2016, Wang Wenting enrolled in the China Central Academy of Fine Arts to study Experimental Art. Recently, Wang Wenting participated in two group exhibitions of paintings. Some of her artworks were collected though her income from this was not sufficient to cover her daily expenses. Therefore, she had to rely on savings from her previous fashion design job to maintain her life and art creation.

Fashion design by Wang Wenting

As an ex-professional fashion designer, Wang Wenting has made a decent amount of products. And Wang’s works were deeply influenced by her previous career as a professional fashion designer—most of her works were created through collage.

Wang Wenting, Camouflage, watercolor on wooden board, 20x30cm, 2018

Wang Wenting, A Dream Going to Nihility, watercolor on wooden board, 50x40cm, 2018

Wang Wenting, Evolution Taking Away His Features, 120x90cm, 2018

Wang Wenting is very talented and skilled in crafting. Not only can she sew clothes, but she can also sculpt in steel. A series of her works are in steel, and it has something to do with the environment she grew up in. Her father runs a private steel-making enterprise in Henan. Wang Wenting grew up in the factory because her parents were always busy working. She was familiar with the production of steel since she was little.

Wang Wenting, Vanish Mould, installation, variate, wax, coated sand, aluminum, 2018

Wang Wenting, Vanish Mould-JX05, installation, variate, wax, wood, stainless steel, 2018

Wang Wenting, Vanish Mould-JX01, installation, wax, stainless steel, 160x65x80cm, 2018

A plant belongs to Wang Wenting's father, Henan Province, 2018

Artists have the freedom to pursue their passion, however they often struggle with little income. Designers have certain constraints, yet they can make enough money to support their lives. Therefore, Wang currently cannot answer if it has been a wise decision to change from a professional designer to an artist with more freedom. Wang hopes to create more artworks with an interdisciplinary approach.

Wang Wenting and her works

Wang Wenting’s previous studio at Muxuyuan Art Commune, which was demolished in 2018

Courtesy of the Artist and CAFA ART INFO