Guan Wei artist interview
Guan Wei artist interview

My name’s Guan Wei. I became an artist since 1980s, very early, yeah. And I quite like making
stories in my works, not only for your eyes, also for your ideas. Firstly, I think humour is very important and that’s why in my work
you can find some humour in my pictures. Secondly is knowledge and I think that the work should have some knowledge behind the work. Like people, after they enjoy the looking, they’re thinking something. And that’s why I like doing
some research on some things. Yes, knowledge. And, thirdly, is when you choose something to make new things you must be very witty, very clever. Many many works just follow
these three elements, wit, humour and knowledge, to continue with my works. If I’m quite interested in one subject, I will start something
by doing some research. Looking at some books
and visiting some places and asking some people. And I do a lot of drawing firstly, I do a lot of pencil drawing
and charcoal drawings. And of these drawings I choose
some that may be the best. If they’re good ones, I will
maybe make second drawings for the colour drawings. That is my second stage. After the second stage, I look and [think], oh, this is okay. Now I make the canvas work and the wall paintings
and some other materials. I think I’m very lucky
with a good relationship and also good long relationship with the MCA. Since starting in 1980s. So, in 1989, I went to the MCA’s [original] office in
the Sydney University. Also with the MCA I did
an artist-in-residence. And I helped them to organise, to run the
‘MAO GOES POP’ (1993) show and also the MCA helped
me to invite my wife to join me in Australia. After this, in 1999, the MCA made the decision to give me a big solo show in the MCA. I think this is the first
solo show in the MCA. I’m very lucky I’m the number
one [solo] show in the MCA. And also I’m the number one
doing the artist-in-residence with the MCA. I think I’ve made many
histories with the MCA. An interesting thing in 2013, they asked me to do a big mural for the MCA’s new building. That’s a very good thing, like before I did a lot of murals and experimenting with murals. When they asked me to do
this, I’m quite happy, I think, this is a very good wall, a very important wall in Sydney close to Circular Quay. I said, “Okay, I’m glad do to this.” So I did one drawing called
“The Journey to Australia” so I paint many refugee boats or something from Circular Quay to the
MCA, the boat in there. Yes, since the last year Rachel [Kent], the [chief]
curator from the MCA, invited me to the Museum
of Contemporary Art, talking about giving me
another collection show. Oh I feel so happy, I’m so lucky. This will be my second
solo show in the MCA, this is quite, also, unusual. I don’t know how some
people have the second, two solo shows in this
sort of important museum. And I’m very very happy and
also it’s just like, for me, to go home to, you know, the MCA. That’s why, you know, I’m very serious to think how can I make
this show good looking, and to do drawings for the murals and to make this for different people, make the work together interesting. And I’m very excited and now I’m really looking forward to what happens this time.

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