On my trip to China in June, I met the very talented young artist Hou Weiguo at Chen Qi’s studio in Beijing. (Chen Qi is one of the artists we represent in the UK and has been working with us for 16 years, his works are exhibiting at La Biennale di Venezia 2019 this moment). Weiguo is in his second year of pursuing his doctoral degree with Chen Qi. I would like to introduce him to you and show you some of his latest work in our blog post this week.
Photo: Chen Qi and Huo Weiguo at La Biennale di Venezia 2019
He was born in the 1980s in Shahe City, Hebei, China and is in the third generation of printmakers of contemporary Chinese art. He graduated from the department of printmaking at Central Academy of Fine Arts in 2013, then gained his MA in 2017 at the same institution. Weiguo has published a book: The Event of Horse Identification: 33 Methods of Engraving of Weiguo Hou. He also had a solo exhibition on the same theme at China Central Academy of Fine Arts, Beijing in 2018.
Photo: Huo Weiguo
In his words: “Printmaking is a media which has a lot of secrets in it. I found a kind of material which I named as Offcuts of Print. During my creative process, I need to test the surface of various materials (papers, metals or boards) and print a lot of versions of one image in order to find the best result. Normally these are waste materials (Offcuts of Printmaking) that are thrown away. So, I try to use these waste materials (Offcuts of Print) to create a new artwork. The method I use is to hollow them out, then collage them and combine them together in the end, to form a new artwork. The Event of Horse Identification is the same concept as ‘The Human Identification’, which exists simultaneously. I hope viewers have introspection when they identify the horse.”
Below are a few examples of the ways in which he has created new artwork with Offcuts of Print:
Image: ‘Thin Horse I’ – 175x165cm, Offcuts of Prints, 2016
Image: ‘Thin Horse II’ 165 x 175cm, Offcuts of Prints, 2016
Image: ‘Thin Horse III’, 170 x 100cm, Offcuts of Prints, 2016
Image: ‘Thin Horse IV’, 105×90cm, Offcuts of Prints, 2017
Image: ‘Don Quixote’, 200 x 270cm, Offcuts of Prints, 2016
Image: ‘Don Quixote’ (Detail), 200 x 270cm, Offcuts of Prints, 2016
Weiguo’s fascination with horses began in 2015 when he observed thin local horses in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia. You can read more about the series and his work with recycled materials in his interview with CAFA Art Info and watch video below for a look at his work behind the scenes.