The photography/installation works of Chen Wei (CN, 1980) illustrate an intricate imagination fascinated with the eccentric and fanciful pursuits of early science, mathematics, alchemy, philosophers and madmen. Taxidermy, broken mirrors, melted wax, bats, bees, deserted bedrooms, and found objects become the artist’s tableau. With a meticulous attention to details, Chen Wei creates mesmerizing scenes that leave the viewer puzzled by their intricate narrative, fantastic visual impact and odd beauty.
Chen Wei’s creative and contemplative process consists of searching for and compiling myriad fragments of personal memories, and incorporating inspiration and objects from childhood or fantasies imagined juxtaposed with realities found in modern China. Most of the works are sketched and created on location in the artist’s studio and then photographed, with the end result being less about the camera process as it is about the assembly of the elaborate elements that are captured in his works.
Chen Wei began his early career dealing with experimental music, but eventually made the transition to photography. Since then he has exhibited in both solo and group shows around the world, including Germany, Japan, Italy, Spain and Switzerland, among others. In addition, Wei has worked on commissions often bringing together conceptual photography and fashion design.