By Janice Wu
Ricepaper is pleased to have Janice Wu guest-blog as our “blogger-about-town” as she covers the latest cool spots in the Vancouver arts scene.
Janice recently caught up with Russell Leng, an emerging Vancouver-based artist at the opening of his first solo exhibition entitled “New Nature Systems” and asked him about his work and the show, currently still on at the Mezzanine Gallery at Blim until August 29, this Sunday.
Could you tell us about the new nature systems series?
It is an exploration of the relationship between natural environments and man-made structures. By contrasting loose brush strokes and the life-like watery qualities of India ink with more clean-cut angular lines, these paintings are meant to convey the tension between geometric and organic forms.
Do you have a favorite medium to work with?
Right now, I like working with acrylic paint. I like its immediacy.
What influences your paintings? Inspirations? Other artist’s work?
Certain genres like Cubism and Op Art has had some influence in my aesthetics.
I‘m also very inspired by the combination of rigid geometric forms and color, particularly neon colors. Kill Pixie and Maya Hayuk are some artists whose work I admire.
What do you want viewers to see or experience when looking at your paintings?
I want people to be initially attracted to my paintings for its visual impact and appreciate them as visual objects. And hopefully as they examine my work, they will begin to question the layers of contrasts in my paintings, such as why a free flowing brushstroke is right next to a harsh jagged line.
I’d probably want to live with an ever-changing Yves Klein performance where he paints using human bodies as brushes literally. It would be pretty entertaining.
I’m enrolled into the Masters in Architecture program at UBC this fall. My goal is to take my concepts in these paintings and transform them into buildings and installations. The idea of people actually interacting in New Nature Systems is exciting to me. I look forward to expanding these conceptual forms into real like sculptural structures.
“New Nature Systems” is on now until August 29th
Mezzanine Gallery, at Blim
115 Pender St. Chinatown, Vancouver
Check out more of Russell’s work at http://www.russellleng.com