Artist Weifang Gong’s work is inspired by the environmental impact and pollution she witnessed in her years as a textile designer. Her painterly textiles reflect her practice of no waste/reusing and the influence of traditional Chinese paintings. Gong’s artwork will be on display at the Leawood Library branch until December 21, 2022.
Talk about the work on view? What would you like people to know about it?
The series of paintings are made from the textile scraps which come from my studio’s wastes. The inspiration for the silhouettes in the paintings come from the plants and animals that live in the water. I want to share my thought, through my art creations, that “No Waste/Reusing” is an important way to protect our ecosystem. The first series of paintings is called “Floating”, which includes four vertical hanging paintings; they are inspired by Charles Monet's oil painting, “Water Lily Pond” and traditional Chinese vertical painting format. The second series is called “free-form shapes in unifying”, which includes nine small canvases. I hope that my audience can give explanation for this work by themselves.
What themes do you pursue? What inspires you to create?
My themes are identity, humanity and the environment. What inspires me to create art is my desire to find a way to identify myself. As an Asian female, I try hard to merge both America and Chinese cultures together to create unique artworks.
Where are you from and how has it influenced your work?
I am from China. I started learning Chinese painting and drawing at six years old. The traditional Chinese vertical and horizontal hanging paintings influenced a lot of my current artwork's composite. Also, I worked as a fashion designer for seven years in a textile company in China. I not only witnessed the growth of fashion factories, but also the process of water pollution caused by the waste (dyes, plastics, and textile debris, etc.) of fashion industries. I wish I could have done something earlier in my life to warn people about the damaging effects of textile pollution.
What is your dream project?
I have been trying to use different types of media by working with different types of materials in my studio practice. No waste/reusing is my studio’s rule!
What is your most important artist tool? Is there something you can’t live without in your studio?
It is hard to say which tool is important to me, because I work with a lot of medias. However, without pencils and sketchbooks, I can't start my art creation.
What books, movies and/or music have inspired you recently?
I am a fan of the Marvel movie series. The story lines, music, costumes, CGI and scenes in the movies always help me to open my mind of art creation.