Do not go gentle into that soft world
For WANG Peiqi, the world today is wrapped in an immensity of shows and there is only a thin screen between real and illusion. The landscape projected on this screen wall, devoid of its materiality, becomes a spectacular nihility. This is the time when the visual field is powered by thousands of invisible algorithms. Feuerbach unveiled to us a hundred years ago this world which “prefers the image to the thing, the copy to the original, the representation to the reality, the appearance to the being”, the works of WANG find its root in this pleasure of illusion, of the appearance that envelops the real like a sweet and seductive cellophane.
What is on the back of the image? The question will arise physically and metaphysically. The artist’s answer lies primarily in the physical plan – in other words, in his own way of painting: WANG Peiqi painted with acrylic on plexiglass. He paints what is familiar to us in our lives: the park, the pool, the window, the building … he paints exquisite images tamed by human logic in order to show us his back – the natural chaos, the complexity, the texture of paintings, the entanglement of the keys behind the image seen: the awakening of “matter”. For the artist, the beautiful “back” image is disappearing – killed by this LCD age, electronic display and digital printing. The world is reduced to its virtual “facade” which will only be a trompe l’oeil.
What is behind the image? WANG Peiqi’s second answer is on the metaphysical side. Inspired by Guy Debord’s famous “society of the show” concept, WANG Peiqi’s art revolves around an unrelenting debate about falseness, illusion and commodity fetishism – drawing the curtain of this “world image” who enchants us with his sweetness. The artist puts on what he stages with a slight strangeness: cut out, frozen, geometrized – the material world is thus transformed into a series of signs where there will reign a suffocating and disturbing silence.
WANG Peiqi’s works are always conceived and executed with great precision and rigor, in a spirit of rationality and scientificity. His mastery of printmaking technique, his sensitivity to the painting material and his investigation of the reality of the visual challenge the “look” motif that has haunted painting since its birth. The moment when we look at WANG’s works through contemporary media, we will fall into a “mise en abyme”: this lazy dependence created by the virtual platform is exactly the act he criticizes through his images stuck in the plexi box.
Through his art, the artist wants to poetically capture “all the colors of the night”: restore the elasticity and expressiveness of the image so that our aesthetic experience of the eye varies depending on the distance. From the figurative image spontaneously sought by the empirical eye, through the infinite abstract within Nature, for the emergence of new visibility – behind this joyful illusion that the world gives to see, the real world itself remains to be rediscovered, just as Pascal Quignard told us in L’Ombre errante: behind the visible world, there is world.