A red blooded heart pulsing in my pocket: in conversation with Faye Wei Wei

Interview by Maria Zemtsova, Text by Layla Leiman, ART MAZE MAG

British-Chinese artist Faye Wei Wei’s poetic and seductive artwork brings together eclectic fragments of mythologies, folklore, art history and her own idiosyncratic iconography. Her large-scale paintings of figures, animals and more obscure motifs convey a rich interior world of symbolism and narrative. Faye’s style of paintings is tinged with a child-like naivety and surrealism. Her compositions are non-hierarchical with each motif swimming fluidly and alluring above the background, conveying transcendent and illusive narratives that seem to emerge from a deep dreamspace.

For Faye, mark-making is a form of ritual, practiced daily in the sacred space of her private studio. In her art, reality merges seamlessly with personal histories, memory and the dreamlike world of her own creation. “Born from the loneliness of being in a studio, the objects that I have collected find their way onto the canvas, directed by the narrative created from the beautiful words that float around my mind from poems I read that morning,” Faye explains, “the meaning behind the symbolism that the objects hold are endless for me, sometimes they’re secrets, mine to keep.”

Her dreamlike paintings are conceived first in drawings, where Faye tests out and follows the seductive flow and rhythm of a line on paper. Her paintings on canvas evolve the drawings with a subtle interplay of positive and negative space. She describes this as
a “way of drawing figuratively with the sensuality of abstract painting and the joyful emotional description of a line.”

A 2016 graduate of the Slade School of Fine Art and recipient of the Cass Art Painting Prize, Faye is a young artist to watch. She has exhibited extensively in the UK and further afield and recent solo exhibitions include Sweet Bitter, Valentine at SADE Gallery in Los Angeles, USA and Anemones and Lovers at Cob Gallery in London.