Wu ZetianGuo, Fengyi
Wu Zetian, between 1990 and 2008
ink on paper Japan
428 x 70 cm
© photo credit
Collection de l’Art Brut, Lausanne
Guo, Fengyi (1942-2010), China
BiographyGuo Fengyi was born in Xi’an, Shanxi Province, in China, where she still lives. In 1962 she passed her secondary school leaving examinations and the following year became employed as a technician in rubber and solvent factories. Following acute attacks of arthritis, this mother of four children was forced to retire at the age of thirty-nine. After eight years of suffering, she initiated herself into Qi Gong, a branch of traditional Chinese medicine, with the aim of strengthening her immune system and relieving her illness. She mastered this discipline, which leads to metaphysical contemplation and connection with the other world, initiated other people and wrote about the subject. In May 1989 she turned to writing, in a frenetic manner, then, progressively, figures started to appear in these profuse writings.
Since then she has produced a large number of paintings, first on the back of calendar pages, then on sheets of rice paper, some of which are more than five metres high. When she uses these large supports, the paper is unrolled gradually on her small work table in such a way that she never sees the entire work as she paints. She sometimes works from top to bottom or paints on one half of the support, unrolling it bit by bit, before undertaking the second half, beginning from the other end. In order to create, she puts herself into a state of meditation, dresses completely in red, the colour of serenity and happiness, and says she is inspired by Buddha. Her compositions are always drawn in pen and Indian ink or using inks of different colours. The theme dominating her entire output is the link between the human body and the natural world. Subjects, half-human, half-plant, are entangled in a network of extremely fine lines which are similar to embroidered threads. Often, figures fit into one another, like an obliteration of the being and its multiple identities.
Exhibition(s) at the Art Brut Collection