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About Liang Wei

Liang Wei is a professional artist in Northern Virginia who specializes in contemporary Chinese painting and Chinese calligraphy. Before coming to the United States, Liang Wei studied Chinese painting at the Guangzhou Academy of Fine Arts. His work has been exhibited in museums and galleries throughout New York, Connecticut, Maryland, Virginia and Washington DC. He has won numerous awards including Best in Shows awards. In 2005, he received the Torpedo Factory Artist of the Year Award and won First Place in Watercolor for Best of Virginian Artists and Artisans. More recently, he also won the Outstanding Work and Honorable Mention awards at the first and second Overseas Chinese Painting and Calligraphy Exhibition in Beijing, China. Besides being featured in Chinese magazines, Liang Wei’s calligraphy has adorned the jacket designs of books, such as “The Search for Modern China” and “Chinese Roundabout” by Yale historian Jonathan Spence, and “Furrows” by Yale anthropologists Helen Siu.


Spring and a Happy Life

  • 2017
  • Torpedo Factory, Alexandria, VA
  • Watercolor, rice paper

This painting utilizes aspects of the traditional style of Chinese Flower and Bird Paintings, or hua niao hua, 花鸟画. It is one theme or category of traditional Chinese watercolor paintings, with much symbolism and expression attached to the birds, trees, and flowers. Spring and a Happy Life is very detailed, representing a traditional painting technique called gongbi, 工笔. The selection of detail in this piece gives a very modern feel to a traditional style. However, there are also “muted” elements in the painting, too, recalling another traditional “freestyle” technique known as xieyi, 写意. The color red in the painting represents luck, joy, and happiness. Watercolor on rice paper.

Spring and a Happy Life


  • Year: 2018
  • Location: Torpedo Factory, Alexandria, VA
  • Medium: Chinese rice paper, ink

This piece of Chinese calligraphy by artist Liang Wei is a combination of two characters, ru and hua. These characters mean “picturesque” in Chinese, yet, depicted as they are in this piece, there are multiple meanings. First, the literal, dictionary meaning of “picturesque”, and then the placement and calligraphic style of these characters that create a “picture” themselves. Finally, viewed as an intentional and balanced whole, the painting is “picturesque”. This calligraphy is painted on rice paper, using ink and brush.

Calligraphy, or the art of writing, is highly complex and yet surprisingly simple in its tools of ink, stone, paper, brush, and silk. The flexibility of the brush allows for varying widths and strokes, and the brush becomes an extension of the artist’s arm, or entire body. Calligraphy was the highest and most prized visual art form in traditional China, illustrating the great importance placed on words and writing in Chinese culture and society.

In this work, one can see two seals depicting the artist’s name. One seal has the outline of characters - a kind of “reverse” technique, whereas the second has the word “Wei” in English, formed by a method where the name is shown in red ink. The two types of seal characterize the many dualities present in Liang Wei’s art.

Picturesque - by Liang Wei