Wei Yan was born in Beijing, China in the late ’60s. He began his art career at the age of 6 under the guidance of a group of art instructors in Beijing Children’s Palace, followed by attending the Beijing Fine Art High School. It was after he was accepted into Beijing Capital Normal University in 1987 that he first began to study traditional Chinese painting.
In the four years during his university education, he was not only admiring and emulating the magnificent art created by past Chinese masters, but also studied very hard to be proficient in how to paint all subject matters. He always received praise from the professors by having solid sketching skills, and was unlike many other painters who were only familiar with one subject matter. As a prominent young artist he was able to handle all subject matter, including landscape, flowers, birds, and human figures.
After he immigrated in Canada, he taught fine art at his studio. Many of his students became involved in different art schools and universities in North America. In the meantime, he learned and painted mainly in the European style of oil paintings. He found that this ‘’ cultural tradition’’ has quite different aesthetic standards and techniques of expressions in terms of subject matter, composition, perspective, colour and painting style.
He’s very proud of the long Chinese history, that has enabled him to keep on searching for what is the true and positive energy that influences his art.
Traditions is the basis of his painting, but you will also see that he applies his own personal innovations and modifications to convey something important regarding the effect and feeling that he wishes to achieve. Specifically, a feeling of freshness of the ink and of spontaneity untrammeled by the usual rigidity of a normally executed brush stroke. Also a feeling of opening the eyes to the field of a unified and harmonious continuum, rather than one cluttered with the minutiae of the amassing of detailed, cumulative and discrete brush strokes.
Wei Yan has been deeply affected by traditional Chinese Feng Shui, meditation, historical legend, drama, movies and music. Thus, these elements become the main thread of his work.
Wei Yan lives and works in Oakville, Ontario.