A Chinese artist who now lives and works in Paris, Wang Gang holds his second exhibition Le Bon Temps in Hong Kong at the Karin Weber Gallery in September 2014. Le Bon Temps is a popular expression frequently used to refer to good times, usually in the past. Through a series of imaginative portraits, the artist explores both memorable times gone by, as well as agreeable pastimes in daily life.
Wang Gang’s paintings evoke a feeling of nostalgia with the central figure often daydreaming or reliving pleasant memories of time agreeably spent. The protagonist, childlike and innocent seems imbued with a sense of inner contentment while absorbed in everyday activities such as playing with a favourite toy or game, drinking tea or simply looking at himself in the mirror. The artist confesses that he wishes to convey a sense of appreciation for the simple pleasures of life, the daily objects with which we pass our time and are a source of hours of engagement, diversion and joy. One could also interpret them as a tribute to a simpler and more uncomplicated time in our lives when we were happier with fewer things.
Not only are the themes captivating – ‘Eventail’, ‘Un Jeux de Marionette’, ‘Masque’ but the technique adopted is masterly and perfectly crafted to create wonderful textures and moods. Working in oil on linen, the artist achieves an almost antique feel to his canvases by layering thin paint to achieve a patina like finish on the surface of the canvas. The portraits have a wonderful feeling of innocence and simplicity of a bygone era.