Artist Pu YingWei was born in 1989 in China. He studied in France and experienced Europe at a time of turbulence during the terrorist attacks. Yingwei’s parents work within the official Chinese system, and his uncle is an engineer who works for an aid construction project in Africa, through this lens Pu YingWei has experienced international cultures from a very unique perspective and it is this that has influenced some of the ideas and themes he explores in his work.    

Yingwei became very interested in how ideas and cultures collide and connect, he is interested in colonialism in France and in exploring the history of individuality and diversity its source and limitations. Yingwei believes that individual experience and memory play an essential part of making us who we are, and it is important to be authentic and express these thoughts through creative means so we can grow the knowledge we have of others and of ourselves. This unique perspective can sometimes produce sensitive questions about tricky issues in the world. As a result, his narrative approach presents a web of complexity, writing, imaging, collecting, research, painting, performance, etc. interwoven with a series of very current topics, including geopolitics, post-colonialism, and the clash of ideologies.  

The COVID-19 epidemic in 2020 has opened many topics of discussion about our understanding of our state of being. The world has never been so divided and yet strangely connected too, in terms of dialogue about issues related to race culture and identity. Artists are the great watchers and observers of society and through this time of a global pandemic, Yingwei has been reflecting more deeply on issues that have come to the surface.  How do artists respond in a world where populism and anti-globalization perspectives are on the rise?  How does individual history occur and survive in human history? What is the role of the artist now in terms of responding to these complex issues in our global society and how do these issues appear when viewing them through the perspective of living in the Far East?    

During Black History Month and as part of the #ConnectedByCreativity UK- China Contemporary Culture Festival, we will visit the Studio of Artist Pu YingWei in Beijing for a live Q&A with Curator Michael Guo. The artist will talk about his work with Michael and there will be opportunity to engage in a discussion about themes related to the relationship between the individual and society and the world through his artistic practice.