We spoke with famed contemporary Chinese artist Wang Xiaobo, whose works are currently on display at The Repulse Bay residences as part of its first-ever art exhibition, on the secrets behind his success.
Why did you choose to become an artist, and what inspires you to continue creating art?
My parents are both academics, and my brother was similarly educationally gifted. I, however, was not so lucky in that respect, and never did well in school examinations. Luckily, I discovered my love of painting early on, and my father was particularly encouraging of my talents and urged me to pursue my passion. My art is my means of connecting with life, of interpreting my experiences and interactions with other people.
What are the inspirations for your artworks?
My works are a kind of self-reflection of my own personal experiences. Everything I’ve created is based on a particular phase of my life. For example, when I first got married, I was enamoured with exploring the various facets of love. Then, when I had my two sons, I found inspiration in their constant curiosity, their constant need to ask: “Why?”. In fact, my Looking for Future series was inspired by their youthful inquisitiveness.
Your works have sold for millions of dollars, why do you think your creations are so popular with collectors?
I’m not sure if “popular” is a good or bad thing for an artist. I think, at its core, art is like philosophy, it’s a pure expression of an artist’s feelings. However, commercial art – those pieces dedicated to pleasing buyers – is how one earns a living. Having said that, I think I’ve been lucky to strike just the right balance between these two aspects, which is why my works have resonated with a wide range of people.
Your artworks are currently being displayed at The Repulse Bay residences. How do you feel viewing art can stimulate residents / guests in the art of living well?
Art is a wonderful medium of expression, it is a fantastic platform for inspiring the imaginations of anyone, no matter what their age and where their interests lie. No two people experience art the same way, it’s a unique, personal affair. Ultimately, I believe that exposure to art stimulates the mind and expands a person’s horizons, and that is what I hope residents and visitors to The Repulse Bay will feel when they view my creations.