Artist: Wansi Leong Exhibition: Why Not?
Media: Canvas, Oil Painting, Paint Brushes
Gallery: CSULB School of Art, Max L Gatov Gallery West
About the Artist: Wansi Leong is currently an undergraduate student at California State University, Long Beach. She is striving toward her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Drawing and Painting and hopes to graduate in the Spring of 2017. Wansi began to paint as a child but never really considered it as a profession due to her parents hopes for her career. Wansi’s first encounter with art began when she was a dancer back in Macau, China which is also where she was born and lived for a short period of time. She began to paint a bit more professionally when she entered Cal State Long Beach’s Drawing and Painting program. Wansi began to also build her portfolio when she entered college and now has a portfolio filled with 4 years worth of pieces she has made. Her pieces have mostly been about her life and messages of her experiences with life. She created this piece #2068, depicting one of her most important messages.
Formal Analysis: My analysis of the painting was that there were some points in the painting that I believe were purposely meant to stand out rather than others. The focal points I found in this painting were the mirror with the young girl’s hand reaching out and the woman looking deep ahead. The background appears also as if it was purposely painted with rather dull colors so that when the audience first glances at the painting the woman and girl are seen first. As you further examine the painting the audience may notice a myriad of colors blended together to form different shades and shadows. There are many different strokes used to form different textures in the photo such as the skin on the body and shadows of natural lighting on the clothing.
Content Analysis: As I spoke with Wansi she further explained my curiosity about the painting. The content behind this painting is a real experience Wansi dealt with as a young college student. The women in the painting represents Wansi as an older woman and the girl reaching out of the mirror represents the young Wansi. The reason why she was reaching out of the mirror to the older woman was to stop her from making the biggest mistake that could make her life completely miserable. When Wansi explained to her parents she wanted to become an artist they disagreed and had different expectations in mind. Her parents wanted her to become a Doctor or Lawyer but if Wansi were to have listened to her parents and studied Law or Medicine she would have been unhappy due to the fact that Art is her passion. Her message is to follow your dreams because at the end of your life you want to be satisfied with the life you lived, not regretful.
Synthesis/My Experience: My experience of viewing this piece was that it was extremely peculiar and interesting to look at. What made me curious and intrigued to speak with Wansi was the look of dissatisfaction in the woman’s face. I found this painting to be quite relatable to myself and I’m sure to many other young audiences. The reason I found this to be so relatable was because of the fact that Wansi’s parents wanted her to find a career in something she was uninterested in. For many of us we try to please other people we care about like our friends or family which can unfortunately lead us to being unhappy. Wansi’s experience and painting can teach us to always put our own happiness first because at the end of our life we want to be proud of the decisions we made.