Beijing-based artist Peng Wei merges traditional Chinese-style paintings with rice paper sculptures. Just like a sophisticated version of papier-mâché, Wei casts her rice paper paintings around objects such as shoes, boats, and mannequin parts, including the bust and legs. While her paintings are rendered in a traditional Eastern style—featuring Chinese landscapes, houses, and day-to-day rituals—the sculptures’ forms are that of Western fashion-related items. The juxtaposition between the two cultures is the artist’s way of expressing her concern for the impact of globalization on China’s cultural heritage.
In the case of her boot sculptures, Wei collaborated with renowned Italian shoe brand Sergio Rossi. The thigh-high rice paper forms feature delicate floral patterns, Chinese warriors on horseback, and depictions of small houses among forest trees. Wei’s paper mannequin busts are adorned with classic motifs such as birds, trees, and Eastern architecture, while a pair of silk pumps feature illustrated insoles showing Chinese women carrying out household chores.
Having exhibited her contemplative artwork all over the world, Wei’s sculptures currently reside in the permanent collection of the National Museum of Art in China, the Brooklyn Museum, the Asian Art Center of San Francisco, and the Hong Kong Museum of Art.