Out of 2019

Wanqi Wang

The year 2019 was personally significant: I made a lot of friends, fell in love, experienced heartbreak, went through depression, and started it all over again. I learned about myself, accomplished triumphant moments, and made a lot of mistakes. It was during this year that I began visually to chart my daily moods. I created a personal color-coded system: pink symbolized joy, purple confusion, black sadness, and yellow symbolized something that made my day.

To celebrate these moments of growth I experienced last year, I extended this concept and created an installation. Three hundred and sixty-five colored ping-pong balls became a three-dimensional depiction of the feelings that made up a specific past, the good and the bad fluctuations that life presented me. The three-dimensional part of the work is paired with a painted self-portrait. From a dark void, I look up at the colored ping-pong balls and at my viewers. I have presented myself in a vulnerable position to give viewers a chance to imagine a relationship between me and these colors. I have intentionally arranged the ping-pong balls by personal significance. They appear to be both floating and falling.

I choose painting instead of photography to make this piece unique and irreproducible. The time-consuming process of observing myself, mixing the colors, thinking about the dimensions and the composition feels like an attempt to blend my personal perceptions with the work. In this case, the photo of myself turns into a reference while the painting is a presentation of my collected sensibilities.

I see this piece as an intimate portrait of myself and perhaps of others, as I ask viewers to reflect on the experiences and emotional states that make up their lives. We may perceive colors and reality in different ways; however, life is filled with highs and lows, which is one thing we can all share.

-Wanqi Wang

This project includes a lot of technical skills and it cannot be done without all of these peoples help! Special thanks to everyone who gave me advice and helped me to build this project, especially Sarah Knobel, Ray Whalen, Daniel Gallagher, Dane Kasarian, Carole Mathey, Catherine Tedford, Mark Denaci, and Erik Johnson.

Wanqi Wang, Out of 2019, Ping Pong Balls & Oil on Canvas, 4′ x 6, 2020

Wanqi Wang, Out of 2019, Ping Pong Balls & Oil on Canvas, 4′ x 6, 2020