“To me, Happy Together is the perfect film. It’s about two boys, Lai and Ho, who move to Argentina to find the Iguazú Falls, but get stuck in Buenos Aires for years, falling in and out of love. The film explores their tumultuous relationship, the complexities and the pain of it. There’s one moment when Lai’s love has left him and he befriends another boy, Chang, who gives him a tape recorder and says, ‘Speak from the heart.’ But Lai doesn’t know what to say to it, he just holds it to his forehead and starts to cry. It’s so beautiful. Sometimes when I’m painting, it feels like I’m telling secrets to the canvas. No one can ever unlock them, apart from me – paint is never going to betray you and start speaking. But it’s funny, when you do finish a painting it’s never as you intended – it can show you secrets you didn’t even know you had.”
If she weren’t a painter, Faye Wei Wei would like to make films. She sees an affinity between the canvas and the screen: each offers a portal into another world. The British artist watches director Wong Kar-wai’s vivid, hyper-stylised cinema in the original Cantonese – her family came to England from Hong Kong before she was born, and she relishes the small claim over her ancestry that his directorial oeuvre gives her. As for her own practice, Wei Wei creates large-scale, lyrical paintings that look at modern romance through a classical lens. Since graduating from the Slade School of Fine Art in 2016, she has had solo exhibitions at Cob Gallery in London, SADE Gallery in Los Angeles and the Centre for Chinese Contemporary Art in Manchester, as well as many group shows further afield. From her studios in London and Berlin, she is now embarking on a new body of work, incorporating ceramics and printmaking into her evolving language.