Born in 1982, Guo Hongwei graduated from Sichuan Fine Arts Institute in 2004. He promptly let go of the shackles of conventional artisan approaches after receiving rigorous, systematic trainings at the institute, and began searching for inspirations from his life experience. At long last, Guo found his Muse in childhood photos of his youth and his family. Between 2005 and 2007, Guo produced a series of oils that he copied from photos. He first dripped turpentine onto the canvas, and as the thinner started to feather, the silhouette of the figure also blurred, until the image was dissolved into a haze. In this single-colour piece, Untitled, the standing youth is dressed in sportswear. In spite of the hollow, hazy outline, Guo has nevertheless captured the look of the figure. Managing the different diffusivity of the turpentine and water, the artist explores the visual balance between controllable and uncontrollable factors through the contrast of light and darkness, and the beautiful nuance in the figure to breathe new life into his art. Old photos are indelible proof of existence, and Untitled is, ultimately, an extension of viewer's memory of the events photographed, and the haziness of the image has touched upon viewer's emotions and senses. Guo's obvious interest in imageries and topics breaks off contemporary art's connection with culture, philosophy, and sociology, to return to a simpler state of mind, making the viewing experience more direct enjoyable.
'I prefer images where brushstrokes are absent. Such images are similar to prints, carrying an impression of a printing press. I am after the natural traces of the creative process in an image.' - Guo Hongwei