Ten minutes prior to the interview, Wei Ziyu skilfully steps out of his studio, via its low window, on to a loading dock and picks up a cigarette which he carefully prepares.
I keep watching the camera´s viewfinder in order to find a suitable background for the video interview in his studio. The lens captures multiple, life-like paintings of figurines, a set from Japanese gundam animation, an album of realistic oil paintings and a row of movie cases marked with classic titles and renowned directors. I heard from other artists in Hsinchu Railway Art Village that he is looking for people to join in on a movie sharing night which is to be held in his studio. It becomes apparent that he is an enthusiast who is equipped with social skills full to the brim.
It takes a while for Wei to come back in to the studio. Perhaps due to the interview, his expression has changed from being at ease to someone who is preparing for a war, as he continuously talks about his unique tactics of how to be creative.
《Domogun In Glass》40x40 cm，油彩畫布，2014
《Domogun In Glass》40x60 cm，油彩畫布，2014
熱愛電影的魏子喻，曾有一檔個展取名為「所有的記憶都是潮濕的」，是從王家衛的電影中得來的靈感，「潮濕」所意味的是過去皆是由汗水、淚水交織而成，對應展覽中的作品《IN GLASS 》系列：描繪伴隨魏子喻若久的公仔們在玻璃瓶缸水中浮沈，從折射中透出些微詭譎的氣氛。《Hello!Kitty》系列作品則是劇場般的黑幕背景，原本可愛的Kitty公仔穿戴起套裝、或添加戰鬥裝甲彼此相互追趕著，一舉一動顯得張力十足，有如上演著動人心魄的表演。端詳這兩個系列的作品畫面看不出任何一絲筆觸痕跡，那是魏子喻為了將筆觸消除，還特意用了砂紙打磨。若非看過他創作的過程，似乎還以為是某個拍攝作品的定格畫面，能做到如此逼真的效果使人驚嘆不已。
Wei is expert in the tedious technique of creating ultra realistic oil paintings. Having barely any dissemblance when compared to the actual object has led the digital generation asking if they are any different from photos. Wei himself has also questioned this technique which many have chosen throughout history, the one which needs to deliver alternative visual experiences to the audience, thus furthermore challenging oneself to discover in ultra realism the new paths not yet taken.
Wei, with a passion for cinema, held a solo exhibition named "All memories are wet", which was inspired by Wong Kar-Wai movies. In Wei´s case, all of the past events are seen as something wet, like sweat and tears. His corresponding work in the exhibition was a series called "IN GLASS", in which he depicts figurines which are seen afloat inside bottles filled with water, seemingly for a long time, giving out a sense of endless string of minor changes.
In Wei´s other series, "Hello!Kitty", the background is shady and theatrical, and the otherwise cute Kitty figurines can be seen wearing a suit or a combat armor as they chase each other around in a scene that emits a motif full of tension which makes the heart pound.
Neither of these highly detailed series show any signs of brushstrokes because Wei has erased them all by sanding them with a special sandpaper. Without witnessing his creative process one might think his pictures are just some screen captures from taped works. That is the level of realism he is able to come up with, and as a result, earn the endless marvel of the audience.
《Hello! Kitty III》 60x120 cm，油彩畫布，2016
Recently, Wei has made a breakthrough in his artistic creativity: he now uses his ultra realistic technique to portray surrealistic themes. In his series "Untitled" (2017-2018) the figurines are seen hovering above the big streets and small alleyways as Wei has transposed the point of attention from the figurine itself to the gravitas of the location. Because of this transposition of attention, the characters in his paintings are given more freedom to roam about the nation, as if on tour.
The series utilizes three dimensional stereo image concept with colors dark red, grayish blue and deep black. When seen with the naked eye, the lines of objects which are only some millimeters apart create an illusion of a shaking motion, and when the red and blue 3D glasses are worn the visual effect gets an extra kick as the sense of depth is further intensified. "Untitled" differs from Wei´s two other series by having visible blank spots and sketch lines as tokens of the continuous, superimposed process behind his paintings.
《Untitled 》60x240 cm，油彩畫布，2018
魏子喻在2017也曾受邀到新竹市立美術館，以玩具、遊戲為題的《好玩藝兒》展覽中展出出作品，除了有過豐富的展覽經驗外，他也參與過北、中、南的藝術博覽會的作品販售，他覺得尤其是YOUNG ART TAIPEI藝博、台北國際藝博最有國際性跟兢爭感，認為商業博覽會是一個很好的曝光機會，卻也常伴隨著風險與潛在成本，藝術家跟作品到了市場上是很現實的，如果作品在販售會上一直爭取不到好的售出機會，或許就會影響到下次的販售價格與討論熱度。另外要配合畫廊「經濟約」定期的產出作品，對畫家來說是非常大的壓力 ; 像他自己就比較常以「展覽約」與畫廊合作，讓畫廊或美術館在既有的作品中挑選出符合當次展覽主題的作品。
In 2017, Wei was invited to exhibit in Hsinchu City Art Gallery´s game themed exhibition. In addition to gaining amass of experience in exhibiting, his works have also been introduced all across the island for commercial purposes. Wei mentions specifically YOUNG ART TAIPEI, which has the most international and competitive feel of the ART TAIPEI´s offerings. Though commercial exhibitions are a good opportunity to gain exposure, it often comes with certain risks and potential costs; artists and people who bring works to the market are for real, and if the works do not achieve good sales potential it might affect the prices next time or cause some heated discussions. One also has to conform to the agreement terms with the gallery and the given exhibition schedule, which might spell a major headache for a painter. In Wei´s case it seems that he often works together with the exhibitions and galleries rather by letting them choose from his existing works the ones that fit the corresponding exhibition theme.
Wei knows that commercial art is not for everyone. He has rented an old house from his old home city Tainan which he has fully renovated together with his partners into a creative education and independent exhibition space called "Phoenix Special". Thanks to him and his space, many students have had the chance to hold their very first exhibition and wholeheartedly embrace creativity. According to him, there are many creators who are not yet discovered by the art market, or who have the desire to study art. "Phoenix special" allows these individuals to gain exposure by teaching, discussing about exhibition planning, hosting lectures and workshops that address the different aesthetic tastes and creating dialogue between the creators and the audience, thus doing its part in incorporating arts into people´s everyday life.
《Untitled 》60x60 cm，油彩畫布，2017 《Untitled 》60x60 cm，油彩畫布，2017
Having operated "Phoenix Special" for so long, Wei´s own creative vigor started to slowly diminish, leaving him no choice but to concentrate on himself and the pursuit of visual breakthrough once again. Although he laughingly comments it being ages ago, I can feel somewhere deep inside, how he misses the sincerity of working this way for the art scene. He says that the feeling of accomplishment that derives from this kind of lively and challenging art exhibiting is very different from the one which comes from exhibiting in commercial galleries and having works in the art market.
Wei also pays close attention to the local art space development, believing that the prospering alternative spaces can really enrich the city´s art scene. Apart from the government having to play its powerful role, the local housing market prices can often influence the art groups´ decision making too, and in regards to that, the future potential of Hsinchu city and its direction of development remains to be seen.
When asked about Wei´s future plans, he mentions, that following the "Untitled" series he wants to have a go at dual-themed works, for which the figurines are a one theme and new visual experimenting another.
With his home city, Tainan, and creative arts in his mind, Wei will bid Hsinchu city farewell next year as he starts to work on his new series. For those who wish to enjoy Wei Ziyu´s exquisite and stunning works, it is better to hurry and see his exhibition in Hsinchu Railway Art Village before the end of the year.
魏子喻 Wei , Tzu-Yu
1984 臺南 府城人
2007 中國文化大學 美術學系 西畫組 畢業 臺北
2010 錄取巴賽隆那自治大學 Eína藝術學院 插畫研究所 西班牙 巴賽隆那
2015 國立新竹教育大學 藝術與設計研究所 新竹
2018 意識轉移-魏子喻個展 —— 沃沃美學 新竹
2017 所有的記憶都是潮濕的-魏子喻個展 —— 亞億藝術空間
2017 Young Art Taipei 日帝藝術中心 —— 喜來登酒店 臺北
2017 好玩藝兒 - 玩具·遊戲·當代藝術展 —— 新竹市立美術館 新竹
2017 台日繪畫合同展 —— 佐籐美術館 東京
2016 香港沸點藝術節 —— Youth Square 香港
2016 象限裡的寫真 三人聯展 ——日帝藝術中心 臺北
2015 臺北國際藝術博覽會 雅逸藝術中心——臺北世貿 臺北
2015 心相寫實2015 雅逸藝術中心 臺北
2015 臺中藝術博覽會 雅逸藝術中心—日月千禧酒店 臺中
2015 Young Art Taipei 雅逸藝術中心—喜來登酒店 臺北
2015 臺南藝術博覽會 雅逸藝術中心—大億麗緻酒店 臺南
2015 大景：當代藝術聯展—絕對空間 臺南
2014 “日落之後” 魏子喻個展—么八二空間 臺南
2014 臺北國際藝術博覽會 雅逸藝術中心—臺北世貿 臺北
2014 Young Art Taipei 雅逸藝術中心—晶華酒店 臺北
2014 臺南藝術博覽會 么八二空間 —大億麗緻酒店 臺南
2013 高雄藝術博覽會 伊日美學 — 翰品酒店 高雄
2013 驚奇四超人聯展 日光大道富錦廚房 臺北
2009 魏子喻創作個展”匠”— 台灣新藝 臺南
2008 魏子喻創作個展—七六藝文空間 臺南
2011 成立Zona Fénix 鳳凰特區
2011/10 王明仁 水墨個展
2011/11 吳其錚, 陳友志, 肥魚, 毬 四人聯展
2012/04 29Y 青春無重力記事—— 簡豪江攝影個展
2012/09 小鼻子小眼睛的人生—— Croter 插畫個展
2012/10 海安路街道美術館公共藝術設計—— [鐵花開了] —— 廖小樹, 魏子喻
2012/10 動畫桌爆裂展 —— 陳岡偉, 謝佩雯
2012/11~ 2013/04 YAMS’DUO 音樂入侵計劃 —— 陳小融, 老王
2013/06 那些正在[經過]...的—— 詹喬鈞攝影個展
2013/10 清芬逾眾芳 —— 陳啟豪, 葉乙麟 水墨雙人展