Eclectix first happened upon Xiau-Fong Wee’s outstanding art in a recent show at Minna Gallery. Her images confound and engage with narrative travels through mind and matter – full of organic suggestions and swirling globules. Xiau-Fong unites decorative design motifs, strange mystic elements and renderings of wildlife into masterpieces of cerebral and surreal fantasies. (And for all you gringos out there – Xiau-Fong sounds like Shee-ow Fong, like a cat’s meow except with an ‘sh’.)
Xiau-Fong Wee grew up in Los Gatos, California, and now lives in San Francisco. She works in oil, acrylic and charcoal, for her three series ‘Concrete’, ‘Concept’ and ‘Crinkle’. ‘Concrete’ – is landscape-based works, mostly city scenes at night. ‘Concept’ – are the organic, surreal paintings (mentioned above in intro) and ‘Crinkle” – are charcoal studies of various animals in fun human poses, handling firearms of various sizes (see below). One can say that she is really three different artists stuck in one body. Her three series each has a distinct style that covers different ideas and subjects. The images are an alternate dimension, a new world that tells a story, hints at an underlying message, and provides a small adventure for people looking in from the outside.
My favorite art memory from my childhood is…. Making things out of bright neon colored construction paper! One of the things I made frequently were mailboxes out of the construction paper, markers, scotch tape, and kleenex tissue boxes. I would mount one outside my bedroom door and would also make mailboxes for my brother and sister. We would be surprised and delighted to find a piece of candy or gum once in a while “sent” from our parents!
My interest in art/painting started … as long as I can remember! Since I was able to make random scribbles on any surface.
I am often inspired and motivated by… philosophy, abstract concepts, the bizarre, strange, and weird and wonderful nature!
If I could spend the day with any artist (dead or alive) it would be… Ernst Haeckel.
And we would… visit uninhabited islands digging for specimens and the remains of various organisms. I would love to get to know his drawing technique and we would trade sketches!
The tip or art technique (a specific tidbit of craft, advice or mechanical expertise) that has helped me the most is …. I am extremely grateful for my paint-saver box; I don’t have to worry about squeezing out too much paint, and the paint does not dry out for days! Also, I often remind myself to keep it simple, simplify, and simplicationicate! I tend to over see, over think, and over do.
If I could own one piece of art, out of the world’s collections, it would be … The original edition of Codex Seraphiniaus. (see below) The pages are eye candy and the content is so creative. It is basically an amazing illustrated encyclopedia of life from another world! It is also written in its own unique language. Genius!
My favorite piece of my own art is… Not a particular piece, but the making of my art. I don’t have a finished work of mine that I can call my favorite, for I am in it all for the process! I love the feeling of creating my own world, and being in control, it is like I am the god of my own universe!
My ultimate project or fantasy is … I don’t really have an ultimate anything I am striving for – I am already living my dream of being an artist!
The last song I choose to listen to was… Stardust by MIKA
The last book I couldn’t put down was …. My sketchbook – I was drawing all day. As for a reading book- an animal anatomy book, I was painting a lion’s head.
My favorite word is … I don’t know if I have a favorite word! But if I did have a favorite word, I might say it often, but the more you say a word, the more it does not really sound like a word anymore. Then my favorite word would have collapsed in upon itself, and in the end, I would have destroyed my own favorite word, leaving me without a favorite word.
I can’t live without … Activity. Boredom does not exist, but if it did, I would surely die from it.
It’s not hip, but I really love … Lava lamps, plasma balls, black light, and all that other random light and strobe ridiculousness.
My favorite motto (or quote) is…. Hakunaaaaaaa Matataaaaaaaaaaaaaaa! ( From The Lion King, it means no worriiiiieeees for the rest of your daaaays….)
If you could live anywhere in the world, where would that be? In a giant air bubble somewhere under the ocean. I would find a sunken ship wreck and rebuild that into my ship-house. I can eat sushi everyday for free. The temperature will always stay nice and cool, and if I wanted to go anywhere, I would not have to drive, I could just hitch a ride from a friendly sting ray or turtle.
If you had to name a hero or heroine, an iconic person in your lifetime, who would that be and why?… Whoever invented ice cream.
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