Peter Wang

The Big Face of Tendency

Oil on Canvas, 2016

The word “tendency” in the title of my artwork means a collective unconsciousness, at doing, or pursuing one certain purpose or object. My theme for this image is the power of tendency. My inspiration from the power of Chinese “monarchy” and Chinese modern history.

The historical context behind this image is the Cultural Revolution. People at that age blindly follow the word of the government out of a blind, unconscious worship, and therefore caused a great mayhem to the ancient heritage and material culture. Even now, many students abroad know only the University of Toronto or University of Waterloo, and think they are the best universities among others in Canada. Why? Because somebody else told them, and they followed. Therefore, many of them failed at developing their real interests and creativity.

The big face in this image represents me. I was once a follower, who has no personal opinion, and only followed those I called “friends”, and have done many things wrong. Therefore, it is very important for me to have individuality and personal opinion. I sometimes force myself to be unique, and avoid being the same with others. That is superficial, and that is why I always try to be different in a spiritual way.

I used a dim tone for the entire image to express a feeling of gloom and grief. The hue is locked in the three primary colours – red, yellow and blue. The red represented the colour of the party. It in this case, also represents the blood thirst and passion. The blue is used to enhance the intensity of shadow, since I did not use any black. The lighting and shadow locates the focus of the big face. The burning background consisted of a vivid colour and bright value. It brought up a great contrast against the dim mood brought by the background and the face. Contrast then, is the main principle I used in my artwork. The existence of contrast allows the audience to shift their focus to the spark and fire. They can probably see the ruins among the bright colours.