The works of artist Wang Tingxin combine the ideology of traditional Chinese brush work with the serial abstraction of the French Impressionists in her unique style of painting. Of her inspirations, the artist explains, ‘When feelings of joy, happiness, sadness or despair came upon me, I ran to the waterfront and shared laughter or tears with the sky and the sea. My soul attempts to echo Nature.’ Through her works, Tingxin shows the beauty of Chinese ink and colour within a contemporary cultural context.
Chinese, b. 1973
The works of artist Wang Tingxin combine the ideology of traditional Chinese brush work with the serial abstraction of the French Impressionists in her unique style of painting. Through her works, Tingxin shows the beauty of Chinese ink and colour within a contemporary cultural context.
Born in Hong Kong in 1973, Tingxin was the first born of her family and grew up very close to her paternal grandmother. According to Tingxin, 'She was a grateful, cultured and sophisticated lady. She had gone through a chaotic young period, but her mind remained calm and positive. She provided me unconditional love, kindness and patience. She taught me countless valuable lessons in life and guided me with Christian teachings. The best of me comes from my grandma’s value and traditions.'
The young Tingxin learnt to deal with feelings of sadness or loneliness by immersing herself in the power and beauty of nature. Soon, a desire to express this passion arose and thus art and music became favourite interests and modes of expression.
In 1989, the teenage Tingxin left Hong Kong and moved to Canada to further her education at the Niagara Christian College, and later the University of Toronto, Trinity College. She remembers the experience with great fondness: 'It was a great leap in my way of thinking. The western education system always emphasizes creativity and forward-thinking. I was urged to have confidence in my personal views and individual values, and encouraged to express my thoughts and my own style.'
In Canada, Tingxin was able to enrich her knowledge in many professional disciplines, as well as her favoured Fine Arts. Studying composition, space, line forms and colours could now express so many different moods and meanings.
'I loved learning how different cultures express their beliefs, values, thoughts and feelings through art. I realized that art is a medium for connecting people. It also helps self-discovery. Art is very personal and subjective. There is no right or wrong about art. Technique is fundamental, but creativity is essential.'
After graduation, Tingxin returned to Hong Kong: a metropolitan city where western and eastern cultures meet in harmony, full of fond memories of her childhood and her grandmother. With a desire to deepen her understanding of her origins, Tingxin decided to further study Chinese culture, and in particular painting and calligraphy. The skill and knowledge gained at this time quickly became complementary to what she had learned studying abroad.
Tingxin has had almost twenty years of experience in the banking and financial sector, and before her retirement from the industry in 2014, she worked with Goldman Sachs for nearly a decade. Of this aspect of her career to date, she explains, 'Not only was it compelling, it is also an area wherein the weaknesses of human nature are often tested. The teachings of my grandma, "No matter how messy the world becomes, what challenge and temptation you face, you should hold your value and beliefs at all the times" always guides my decisions in life.'
Wang Tingxin’s first solo exhibition Jian Xian (見現) was held in 2015, in Hong Kong. A public culmination of many years of hard-work, it displayed over twenty pieces exploring light, colour and landscapes. Courtyard of the Soul is her first exhibition outside of Hong Kong, and an ode to Tingxin’s beloved water lilies. As the artist explains, 'even though the water lily grows in mud, the flowers are pure and free from blemishes. It is the symbol of purity and elegance in Chinese culture.' A celebration of light and colour, tradition and modernity, Courtyard of the Soul opens at Halcyon Gallery, London in March 2017.