I have always been fascinated about the idea of Qi- the
subtle energy that permeates everything in life and links all its
elements together. This idea constantly makes me curious about how
human beings and the material world are universally related and
bonded to each other. - Shen Wei
Flowers Gallery is pleased to announce Shen Wei's first solo
exhibition at Flowers Gallery, New York. Shen Wei is known for his
intimately revealing photographic portraits, in which the themes of
identity, memory, sexuality and self-discovery are explored through
the landscapes of his homeland, and the nude figure.
Invisible Atlas is inspired by the Chinese philosophy
of Qi - an unseen life force and a method of healing. For Shen Wei,
this mysterious vital energy is poetic and seductive. Using his own
body and personality as a subject, he envisions the internal and
external forces channeling through the body and its surroundings.
Drawing from memories of his childhood, as well as religious,
historical and mythological imagery, the narrative is interwoven
with elements of fantasy. Photographic subjects of the figure,
objects and landscape are combined with minimally rendered
drawings, where luminous dots, circles, arcs, arrows and waves give
tangible form to imagined flows and concentrations of Qi.
The concept of energy flow is deeply rooted in Chinese
traditional culture, and is gaining wider interest in the
contemporary western world. According to ancient philosopher
Laozi, Qi embraces "all manifestations of energy, from the most
material aspects of energy (such as the earth beneath your feet,
the flesh and the blood) to the most immaterial aspects (light,
movement, heat, thought, and emotion)".
Invisible Atlas presents the material and immaterial as
deeply intertwined. Shen Wei creates a vision of a
multi-dimensional world, in his own words, "a path to our desires
for beauty, secrecy and pleasure."