by Sara Sweet in New Art on Sunday 12 January 2014

The paintings from the exhibition Piece of Life at Boers-Li Gallery in Beijing depict an extremely beautiful time-consuming process. In the work Piece of Life No. 14, thick paint is applied to the canvas which is then etched into floral patterns. Artist Yuanwei then adds different coloured paint to the etched areas, which allows the pattern to be visible.

Fabrics that were personally collected by the artist from friends and family influence the seen patterns in the work. The prints almost seem reminiscent of old-fashioned tablecloths and curtains. When the work is physically observed, it can be mistaken for a flat surfaced painting.

However, the canvas cleverly demands your gaze to venture further and peer in on a closer level. It is then that you notice the minute and excruciatingly patient indentations that were created in order to complete the piece.

Every movement from the hand is recorded. This technique adds to a greater appreciation for the finished product.