WEI LIGANG 魏立刚
1964 born in China
Wei Ligang, considered a master of contemporary Chinese calligraphy, morphs Chinese characters into gestural abstractions that bring together traditional Chinese ink painting and Western Abstract Expressionism. Throughout his career, Wei has moved from a running style “grass script” calligraphy to a style employing the traditional blocks that define Chinese characters in order to then abstract the characters’ forms. Wei, who was originally a math professor, uses a formula inspired by the square grids of practice paper used by students learning calligraphy.
The “Wei squares” formula allows him to deconstruct and reform Chinese characters resulting in the distortion and abstraction of traditional forms, all the while remaining deeply rooted in Chinese culture. Incorporating metal pigments and different shades and densities of ink, Wei’s calligraphy takes on a more painterly aspect while remaining within the square structures of Chinese characters. His practice retains ties to Chinese tradition and his personal background in mathematics, while employing styles of abstraction imported from the West.