Wu Yang is already well known for his portrayal of elegant Oriental ladies. Representing his ideal of perfect beauty, they all share the same heart-shaped face with almond eyes and rosebud lips, the eyebrows and nose drawn in a single delicate line.
In his most recent work, however, Wu Yang focuses more on their environment: the peaceful gardens and pavilions of Jiangnan. Rather than depicting this idyllic setting in a purely realistic way, Wu Yang selects precise elements and combines them in original abstract compositions. Sometimes the forms are seen in context: a pagoda in the distance, a lotus pond in the garden, flower pots on a ledge beside an open window. In other more abstract paintings, the elements interweave and overlay each other with skilful juxtapositions of contrasting forms and textures.
The geometric latticework of antique Chinese screens contrasts with the smooth shapes of painted porcelain vases. Graceful trees in the courtyard, elegant Chinese furniture, ornamental rocks in the garden, the soft texture of silk fabrics, all are combined in an intriguing patchwork. As in his paintings of ladies, Wu Yang achieves perfectly balanced compositions with an unerring eye for harmonies of colour.
Wu Yang was born in Hangzhou in 1970 and graduated from the Central Academy of Fine Arts in Beijing in 1992. He admires the landscape paintings of the Song (960-1279) and Yuan (1279-1368) dynasties for their sophisticated techniques and their spirituality; he is also drawn to the primitive cave paintings of Dunhuang, as seen in his use of different wash techniques that give the illusion of texture in his paintings. At the same time, he is also influenced by Western art, especially Matisse and Picasso. Wu Yang currently works as a professional artist at the Xileng Fine Art Institute in Hangzhou.