native of Shanghai, China, Wenkui first took up residence in Ottawa in January
2000 after establishing himself as an artist of note in his homeland and nearby
of his motivation in coming to Canada was to pursue a career as a full time professional
artist. While he had gained some renown in Shanghai as an oil painter, there is
little commercial demand for oil paintings among the general population in China
which favours more traditional forms of art.
were not used to oil paintings. They prefer more traditional water colour or brush
painting, says Wenkui.
Wenkui was worried about finding a market for his paintings in Ottawa, his fears
were quickly dispelled when he managed to sell 20 paintings in his first year
was 2000, however, when the high tech boom was peaking. Since then the demand
for his large, awe inspiring works such as The Horse Man has diminished
an effort to find his own personal space in the marketplace, Wenkui now specializes
in personal portraiture in either charcoal, pastel or oil paint.
the high end, his oil portraits are astonishingly life like as can be seen in
Chinese Lady and Chinese Girl both of which form
part of his current exhibit at the Centrum Gallery in the former Cumberland Town
love of the medium is evident in the painting Tibetan Woman which
shows a young woman standing in front of a herd of yaks, holding a wooden bucket.
Her thick black hair is held up by a red kerchief and her face is aglow with a
bright irridescent smile.
as spellbinding as much of Wenkuis work is, his qualities as an artist shine
brightest in The Hunter.
painting is of a Tibetan hunter walking with his dog along the Qinzang Highland,
some 3,000 metres above sea level. The hunter and his companion appear to be walking
toward an approaching storm, struggling against nature in search of prey.
painting, which is about four and a half feet across and three feet high, is a
testament to Wenkui's immense talent.
examples of Yao Wenkui's work
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