WEI LIN 魏琳

was born in China and emigrated to the United States in 1993.  She is currently a fine artist, art educator, and graphic designer of California, who is the director and instructor of Asian Arts Studio. 

1982-1985  Teaching in Fine Art Department of Qufu Teacher's University. Course Experience: Basica Drawing,
                Advance Drawing, Water Color, Oil Painting.  Qufu, Shandong, China.
1987-1993  Teaching in Oil Painting Department of Shan Dong Art Institute. Course Experience: Basica Drawing, 
                Advance Draing, Water Color, Oil Painting. Creative Art. Basic Design, and Visual Art Anatomy. 
                Jinan, Shandong, China
1993-2000  Oil Painter, California, U.S.A.
2000-2009  Computer Graphic Designer, PB Americas Inc. California, U.S.A.
2005-2007  Teaching Fine Art in Huada Chinese Academy, San Francisco, California, U.S.A.
2007-Now   Art Director and Instructor of Asian Arts Studio, San Francisco, California, U.S.A.
2009-Now   Teaching Art and Mandarin in starr king elementary school, San Francisco, California, U.S.A.
2010-Now   Teaching Chinese Traditional Painting in San Francisco State University, California, U.S.A.
Education Background
Visual Arts Department, Qufu Teachers University, 1977-1981. Qufu, Shandong, China.
Oil Painting Department, Beijing Teachers University, 1984 -1985. Beijing, China.
Oil Painting Department, Central Institute of Fine Arts, 1985-1987. Beijing, China.
 
MORE ABOUT WEI LIN 魏琳

Wei Lin was raised in Qufu, a small city in Shandong, China,it is the hometown of Confucius, and where the mansions of his descendants remain today as museums. In Wei Lin’s childhood these mansions were in ruins and served as her haunted playgrounds.

Her home was Qufu Teachers University where her father taught philosophy and her mother taught chemistry in the campus high school. When Wei Lin was a toddler her mother began to bring home bits of chalk. These were especially hard times in China; the walls of her family’s apartment and the hallways of her residential block were unadorned concrete. With her chalk Wei Lin challenged these drab surfaces with the likenesses of wild animals, jungles, clouds, suns and little girls. Even today in Qufu one can find classmates of Wei Lin who still remember her for her drawing.
 
Her teachers in grammar and high school put her in charge of the blackboard decorations, which were to be changed weekly, and consisted mostly of propaganda posters and literature. This became an increasingly important job for her in the third grade when Mao Zedong declared the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution and fomented a decade-long civil war that was fought out in every sector and dimension of Chinese life.
 
Wei Lin chose art as her major course of study in high school. She had already been drawing for years and was so confident of her artistic ability that she considered her dream of becoming an artist as her destiny. Aside from her class exercises Wei Lin created drawings that depicted real and imagined scenes of student life in Qufu.
 
After high school Wei Lin was sent to the countryside in accordance with Mao’s directive to send all urban youth after high school to collective farms to work with and to learn from the peasants.
 
At Dung Yen Workers Unit, Wei Lin did farm work, bookkeeping, and maintained the collective farm’s bulletin board. She loved the nights and the rainy days when she could elaborate and refine the sketches of peasant life that she had made during the day.
 
Mao Zedong died late in Wei Lin’s second year in the countryside. Soon the young city people there were permitted to take entrance exams for various universities. Wei Lin took an exam that brought her back to Qufu Teachers University as an art student.
 
"I had been out of school for less than two years, but some of my fellow students had been in the countryside for as many as ten years. I was so lucky to be studying side by side with students who were older, wiser and more experienced than I."
 
Like most universities at this time, Qufu Teachers University was waking from a sleep of ten years. In order to invigorate its art program it invited working artists to join its teaching staff.
 
"One of these teachers was Wang Xi, a greatly respected painter and sculptor. Under his tutelage I made real progress toward mastery in the depiction of the human form in motion. He would say, ‘You are too good an artist to be a woman’ and ‘It is too bad that you are a woman.’ These were compliments, but ones that more than implied that my sex would be an obstacle to my greatest objective. I resented being a woman."
 
Wei Lin graduated from Qufu Teachers’ University in December of 1981, then stayed on there as a teaching assistant. The following year she read an article in an art publication about a woman graduate student at the Central Institute of Fine Arts in Beijing. Her name was Liu Hung. She was painting a large mural on campus. Wei Lin was thrilled to see a woman producing such monumental art. She wrote to Liu Hung. Liu Hung wrote back, and so began a friendship that would prove, a few years later, to be fortuitous.
 
It must have seemed to those around Wei Lin in her hometown that she was back home to stay. Soon she was feeling very strong pressure from her colleagues and her community to get married.
 
"Settling down was the most comfortable path to take, but it lead away from a life in art. In the summer of 1983, in a panic, I hastily planned a journey to the Far West of China. None of my colleagues could afford to go, so I went alone by train to the province of Xin Jiang, where many artists before me had ventured in search of inspiration amongst the various ethnic minorities and in the Caves of Dun Huang.
 
On the walls and ceilings of these caves are murals that were produced over centuries by anonymous Chinese artists. Modern artists were now making pilgrimages to the murals of Dun Huang. We went to connect to our past. We marveled at the variety of styles to be found in the ancient paintings. We also accidentally found works that shared much in common with what we recognized as the European Baroque and Rococo. We even found elements that we had only identified with such modern European masters as Picasso and Matisse.
 
Since all these works were indisputably Chinese and anonymous, we young Chinese artists felt free to borrow from them. After years of national emergencies we found in the murals the authority to stray from the orthodoxies of both pre-revolutionary and post-revolutionary China."
 
With what she had painted that summer Wei Lin mounted her first solo exhibition. It consisted of some fifty oil paintings of individuals that she had met during her stay in Xin Jiang, all members of ethnic minorities. She received an enthusiastic response from the young artists and students who attended, and harsh criticism from some traditionalists.
 
This criticism was the push she needed to break the bonds of her hometown and move on to Beijing. With the encouragement of Li Rei Nan, a noted landscape painter and art professor at Beijing Teachers University, she initiated her graduate studies there. In her second year at Beijing Teachers University, Wei Lin was selected to be the 1985 enrollee from Shandong Province in the masters program of the Central Institute of Fine Arts in Beijing, China’s premier art institute.
 
This was the time of the "85 Fine Arts Movement." Painters in this movement considered themselves to be the vanguard of an advance of artistic freedom. Nowhere did this movement take hold more than at the Central Institute of Fine Arts.
 
"My own part in the 85 Fine Arts Movement, as it turned out, was to develop a style of painting with which I expressed loneliness and desolation. One of my most eminent professors, Jung Han, challenged me for expressing such negative emotions. He said that my work expressed something unhealthy and advised me against continuing to explore these emotional realms.
 
This professor was a man who spoke at least four languages, who had studied and worked in Europe, and who was an architect as well as a painter. This was not a parochial traditionalist. With a lesser teacher and in a lesser art school I might have been forced to mend my ways. But at the Central Institute of Fine Arts I was allowed to engage my teacher in a protracted struggle. From this struggle I emerged a better painter and a grateful student."
 
For the graduation exhibit of the 1987 Advanced Course Wei Lin’s teachers chose nine of her paintings. There were four heavy female nudes that evidenced her technical mastery according to universally accepted standards. The other five provoked some very enthusiastic response in critical and academic circles.
 
This series was titled, "Author and Works". Each painting depicted a woman artist in the throes of internal conflict. Looking closely one spies in the background of each scene a portrait, perhaps a self-portrait. "I was becoming aware of how my relationship with my work was almost mutual. It was in these paintings that I first began to express this dynamic: the work is projecting itself emotionally back onto the artist" This public portrayal of an individual’s conflict and psychological complexity was, in the context of the times in China, revolutionary.
 
On the strength of these paintings, the Shandong Institute of Art, in the provincial capital of Jinan, opened a lecturer’s position for Wei Lin.
 
Later in 1987 Wei Lin presented "Journey" at the First National Chinese Oil Painting Exhibition which opened at the Shanghai Museum of Art. "Journey" depicts a woman lying reclined upon the back of a large moving mountain lion. This mountain lion plays an important role in many of Wei Lin’s more emotional works.
 
During her years at the Shandong Art Institute Wei Lin continued what came to be an exploration of the female psyche with a style that was soon recognized as her own.
 
While on the faculty of the Shandong Art Institute, Wei Lin exhibited commercially at the Shenzhen Art Gallery, the Singapore Art Gallery and The 13 Art Gallery of Hong Kong, with which she entered into contract in 1991.
 
Liu Hung, the artist that Wei Lin had so admired, and later befriended, was now teaching at Mills College in Oakland. At Hung Liu’s invitation, Wei Lin flew to Oakland, California in November of 1993 to deliver a lecture at Mills titled "Contemporary Chinese Woman Artists in the People’s Republic of China". In January of 1994 she delivered the same lecture at UC Davis.
 
In this period of transition from one country to another, Wei Lin began early to integrate herself into both the commercial and the cultural life of her community with her art.
 
In June of 1996, under the title "Whispering Shandong", Wei Lin presented twenty-three oils at Styler’s Art Gallery in San Francisco.
 
In November and December of 1998, she collaborated with three other Chinese women painters at the Community Arts Gallery in San Francisco’s Chinatown with a showing of four oils.
 
Wei Lin has enjoyed being invited on three occasions to show selected works of art at the library gallery of City College of San Francisco as part of Asian cultural celebrations.
 
Wei Lin is currently preparing a book of annotated drawings that portray, in scenes real and imagined, the unfolding of her life in America. It is scheduled for printing in late 2001.

Paintings Chosen for Exhibitions

Youth Exhibition in the Affiliated Middle Exhibition Hall, 1985 Road
Graduation Exhibition of the 1987 Advanced Course of the Central Institute of Fine Arts,
Chinese Art Gallery, Beijing, 1987
Play No. 1 - Authors and Works No. 1
Woman Nude - Authors and Works No. 2
Man Nude - Authors and Works No. 3
Drawing Exercise - Authors and Works No. 4
Nude Sketch - Authors and Works No. 5
The First National Chinese Oil Paint Exhibit, Shanghai Art Gallery, 1987
Journey
Painting Exhibition for the Second Shandong Art Festival, Shandong Art Gallery, 1989
Dream House and Boy
The Six Painters Exhibition, Shenzhen Art Gallery, 1989
Woman Nude No. 1 - Drawing Exercise
Woman Nude No. 2 - Oil Painting Sketch
Beijing Xi Yan Art Gallery (Exhibition of Recommended Shandong Oil Paintings), 1990
Dialogue Between Dream and Reality
Farewell to Yesterday
A Little Village
Shandong Modern Oil Painting Exhibition, Hong Kong and Singapore, 1992
Portrait of a Girl in the Mountains - Authors and Works No. 2
Authors and Works No. 1
Authors and Works No. 3
Authors and Works No. 4
Women Artists’ Exhibition, City College of San Francisco
A Dark Afternoon
(a landscape drawing on gray paper)
 
Exhibitions
October, 1983 - Exhibition Hall of Qufu Teachers College - 38 paintings
March, 1992 - Exhibition Hall, Shandong University, "369 Exhibition" - 48 paintings
December 16, 1992 - Shandong Art Gallery, Women Painters’ Exhibition - 16 paintings
March 14, 1994 - Garfield Art Co., Monterey Park, California - 1 drawing
June 1, 1996 - Stylers Art Gallery, 661 Jackson St., San Francisco, California
"Whispering Shandong" - A one woman show of 23 paintings
November 16, 1996 - Community Arts Gallery, 750 Kearny St., San Francisco, California
"Chinese Women Artists’ Oil Paintings" - 7 Paintings
 
Selected Published Paintings
Dream No. 1 - Newspaper of Chinese Art, page 2, No. 20, 1987
Woman Nude - Chinese Oil Painting, page 12, 1987
Authors and Works - Chinese Oil Painting, page 11, No.3, 1987
Authors and Works No. 2 - Arts, Page 54, No. 5, 1989
Woman Nude No. 1 - Artists, Page 32, No 3, 1989
Woman Nude No.2 - Artists, page 32,No.3, 1989
Authors and Works No. 4 - The Plastic Arts, page 52, No. 12, 1989
Journey - Chinese Oil Painting, page 30, No.3, 1990
Dream House and Boy - Chinese Oil Painting, page 30, No. 3, 1990
Works No 1 - Qilu Realm of Arts and Literature, inside front cover, No 3.1993
Journey - Qilu Realm of Arts and Literature, inside front cover, No. 1, 1993
The Beauties - Qilu Evening Paper, January 30,1993
The First Draft - Shandong Youth January 26,1993
Going Out - Shandong Youth, March 16, 1993
Wei Lin-A Chinese Woman Artist Shandong Publishing Agency
 
Published Comments on Wei Lin’s Paintings
A Chat, by Hua Mu, Chinese Oil Painting, Page 10, No. 3, 1987
The Strides and Struggles of an Explorer, by Wen Li Peng,
Art Magazine, Page 47, No. 5, 1987
Speaking with Paintings, by Xiao-Chang, Chinese Arts, Page 2, No. 18, 1987
My Thoughts, by Dai Shi He, Chinese Arts, Page 2, No. 18, 1987
 
Public Lectures Delivered by Wei Lin
On the Necessity of Developing Chinese Modern Oil Painting,
Qufu Teachers College, 1985
The Clash Between Traditional Painting and Modern Painting,
Shandong Art College, 1989
On How Shandong Oil Painting Should Go Out to the World,
Discussion Meeting, Jinan, Shandong, 1989
Relationships between Women’s Feelings, Personality and Art,
Chinese Art Gallery, 1992
Art Going to the People, Shandong University, 1992
Contemporary Chinese Art and Women Artists in the People’s Republic of China,
part of a program series titled "Lectures on Contemporary Art",
Mills College, Oakland, California, November 3, 1993
Contemporary Chinese Art and Women Artists in the People’s Republic of China,
University of California at Davis, Davis, California, January 31, 1994
Contemporary Chinese Art and Women Artists in the People’s Republic of China,
part of City College of San Francisco’s International Education Week,
November 15, 2000
 
Education
September 1971 - July 1975: The high school of the Qufu Teacher’s University
September 1977 - December 1981: Art Department of Qufu Teachers University,
Major in Visual Arts
September 1984 - July 1985: Art Department of the Beijing Teachers University,
Major in Oil Painting.
September 1985 - July 1987: The Central Institute of Fine Arts,
Advanced Course of Oil Painting
January 1982 - March 1982: Qufu Teachers University, Teaching Assistantship in the Art Department. Subjects taught: Dissection, Perspective, Composition, Portraiture from Life (sketch, watercolor, gouache, oil paint), Landscape from Nature
(sketch, gouache watercolor, oil paint)
March 1988 - November,1993: Lecturer of Art Department, Shandong Art Institute, China.
Subjects taught: Perspective, Dissection, Plane Composition, Color Composition, Portraiture from Life (sketch, gouache, oil paint),
Landscape Painting (gouache, oil paint) and Creative Painting.
Independent Studies and Exercises
Chinese Traditional Paintings
The Beauties: A series of six paintings
Sculptures
Exhibited in Xiaqing Palace, Qingdao, 1979
Hero Guan (round carving)
FuXi (round carving)
Exhibited in the Cave of the Ten Thousand Buddhas, Jinan, Shandong, 1992
Portraits of the Gods (thick relief)
Multiple-handed Bodhisattva (thick relief)
Employees (2 thin reliefs)
The Hunting Picture (thin relief)
 
 
  
  
Subpages (1): Wei Lin's Oil Paintings