Family-owned gallery Cutter & Cutter Fine Art recently hosted Chinese artist Tang Wei Min at its Ponte Vedra Beach location in Sawgrass Village.
This was one of the artist’s first visits to the United States, although his work has been popular among art enthusiasts here for almost a decade.
Cutter & Cutter has been showcasing the artist’s work for the past eight years. This year, the business was finally able to convince him to come to an opening and talk to people about his work. Through his interpreter, Wei Min told the Recorder on Jan. 25 about the influence of Rembrandt on his work. He said the classic romanticism painter is reflected in his work not only in style but from the intensity of emotion conveyed in the subjects.
“Rembrandt is the classic master,” Wei Min said. “Whoever is learning oil painting, he is very influential because his work always provides a thickness of warmth and content with all kinds of thinking and thoughts possible in it.”
When viewing Wei Min’s work, it’s easy to associate the two painters. Just as Rembrandt used chiaroscuro, religious undertones and a refined technical skill, Wei Min’s work mirrors the painter in style and intent. In contrast, however, is the culture represented. To look at Wei Min’s work is to see Eastern philosophy though the lens of the romantic masters. By combining the two, an entirely new impression of the classic movement is presented.
“He brings a lot of emotion to the canvas,” Mark Cutter said. “When you see the paintings online or elsewhere, you get a little bit of that, but when you see them in person, you really feel his heart and soul and culture into each and every painting.”
Wei Min said that he can achieve so much emotion in the subtly of his work by creating the portraits from his mind, rather than working with a model. By using his own consciousness to create the images, he can convey more of himself within it. He does, however, often conjure a particular face when recreating the women within his paintings — that of his wife.
By studying Wei Min’s work, the viewer doesn’t only feel the spirit of the painter. Wei Min said he hopes the viewer feels something within themselves as well.
“I hope every work I create all contains a kind of calmness and kind of feeling of religiousness,” he said. “(In that) it provides people to think of something that is constantly, always there.”
By looking into the eyes of his subjects, anyone can interpret what that “something” is.
Tang Wei Min’s work will be displayed at the Ponte Vedra Beach Cutter & Cutter location through February.