By Nick Christophers
Artist, Zhiwei Pan has a distinct style that harks back to the earlier illustrations of such legends like Rubens and even Vallejo. Her focus on detail is evident with each piece she produces. She was educated in her native China at the East Normal University in Shanghai where she received a BA in Art Education. Yet her goal was not to be an art teacher but an artist. She at first learned Chinese Calligraphy and Landscape Painting at a very young age. Pan applied her skills at elementary school and her teachers evaluated her as talented and gifted in Art.
This did not sit well with her mother and grandmother who worried that a profession in art is risky. Hence, she shifted her attention to teaching art. This was best, thought her parents yet when she embarked to America she realized that her art work was paramount. Zhiwei soon applied her work in the States in different shows. She works in many mediums such as oil painting, acrylic painting, illustration, sketch in charcoal and pencil. Her favorite medium to work with is oil. Her favorite piece is actually an oil painting called “Asian Story and Mad Smurf” which is a series of works.
Her talent soon was recognized and was offered a platform at different galleries. Since 2015 she has participated in shows in China and the States. From the The Xincheng Garden Hotel, Suzhou Shi, Jiangsu Province, China to the recent Lantern, CArt Gallery, Seattle, Washington.
“For me, it was an honor to have my artwork entered into the Shanghai College Students Art Show; it was a huge group show at that time which included almost all of the famous universities and excellent graduation students’ artworks. But, it was the first time I had a chance to be in an official show. The solo show in NYC was a pretty interesting experience. Every day during that period people came in, talked to me and took pictures, I felt how much they loved art and enjoyed my work; also this show gave me a lot of courage to move on and go deeper.”
Her work has not gone unnoticed as she garnered a few awards. The first award she received was in the States from the Light Space &Time Online Gallery. She submitted her piece entitled “Scoop the Moon” (24×36 inches, Acrylic on Canvas) which was an abstraction piece. It was a piece whose image told a story about how a monkey wanted to scoop up the moon from the water. Only recently she won the annual award for her piece “With an Orchid” (30×40 inches, Oil on Canvas) in the Prisma Art Prize which was based in Roma, Italy. Her illustrations are also impressive where she works in the medium of pigment ink and black pen. Those pieces are focused on Asian culture based on true stories passed on over the years.
Only recently she had a solo show at the Seattle at C Art Gallery which was a big success. The owner was so impressed with the first turnout on September 3rd that he wanted to keep the artwork up longer. The second reception on the 17th was even bigger where the gallery was overcrowded for five hours.
“As an artist, I have no idea what I will gain if I go deeper and deeper into my work. But I know art is the only thing I want, the people who came to say “l love your art” I am so honored by their support.”
Presently, she has submitted her work in a few art competitions and is waiting for a reply. In the meantime she is busy working in the studio on more oil paintings to consummate the Asian and Mad series. In addition, at the end of 2019 her second catalog will be out to publish and is also gearing up for a solo art show in Shanghai. Zhiwei Pan is a cutting edge artist with more to offer the art world for years to come.