The title of Wang’s graduation show at Beijing’s Central Academy of Fine Arts was 3pm to 5pm, the period when he would paint in his studio. The dipping sun would cast beams of light across his studio floor, and these became his subject matter.
Over the next decade, Wang, who was born in 1976, went from painting light to creating paintings that look as if they are made from light. Bright colours strafe the canvas in electric stripes, radiating energy. The works he exhibited recently at the Beijing Commune seemed to emit light from the canvas. It is easy to see why Wang Guangle’s art is popular. Calming tones pulsate out of the canvas, creating a three-dimensional effect.
His ongoing series Terrazzo consists of vast paintings of tiny stones depicted in minute detail; each canvas can take more than a year to paint. Time is central to Wang’s work and is reflected here in the timelessness of the objects. ‘There is so much focus on the development of our country, the changes in society, the impact of history,’ he says. ‘My work isn’t a reaction against this fast pace of change, but it reflects my personal relationship with time.’ Produced in the same scruffy studio in a village outside Beijing for more than a decade, Wang’s work seems oblivious to what’s happening outside.