Weiteng Niu (b.1995, China)
2022-2023 MA Print, Royal College of Art, London, UK.
2013-2017 BA Animation, Beijing Forestry University, Beijing, China.
Weiteng Niu (b.1995, China) is a Chinese artist whose practice focuses on the structural relationship between queer identity, patriarchy, masculinity and East Asian family culture, while attempting to construct a subtle and violent narrative strategy through the exploration of traditional folk art and modern decorative techniques.
Drawing-embroidery is a recently developed form of his work, a new embroidery process based on the commonalities between hand-sewn and industrial embroidery.
Niu argues that hand-sewn embroidery has always existed as a caring and feminine characteristic, and that the memories associated with it often evoke a sense of family and belonging, while implicitly pointing to family forms and gender structures in contemporary society, while the mass and mechanical production methods of modern industrial embroidery introduce a violent mode of operation that is invasive and aggressive. The resulting pictorial embroidery attempts to illuminate the plight of a community of queer, an unstable, shifting, alienated, wrestling state.
In addition, how to form, copy and transmit information through the intimate interaction between bodies is also what Niu has been exploring.
Happy Together takes as its inspiration the quilt, an important object in the traditional Chinese wedding ceremony, which must be handmade by women from happy families and follow strict production standards, and in which the quilt is given a collective and reproductive character, in addition to intimacy and privacy. In this work, he uses the quilt as a narrative carrier, combining collective family photos, ready-made decorative materials from wedding culture and drawing-embroidery to form a narrative strategy that aims to present a reflection on the identity of the queer under the structure of patriarchal heteronormativity, traditional family concepts and fertility culture, and to create a rebellion through the queer quilt.
Warning: This section contains mature or explicit content.
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Don't let the spring light leak out uses phallic objects as a source of inspiration, and is inspired by the printmaking terminology of 'negative engraving' to explore meanings beyond images and symbols. This phallus is no longer symbols of the act of insertion behavior and reproductive worship, but transformed into a self-interaction based on the male body, attempting to form a narrative extension and imply with the queer quilt.
Since we‘ve met,
Spring seems to have slipped off my days.
So does your deep affections and dying reticence.
I wonder if I have missed anything else.
That’s why I want to come closer to you,
suturing my rough wounds with your myriad scars.
Then you could touch me,
reveal your innermost feeling,
to avoid an unreasonable desolation.
Hence, we trembled, intertwined,
involuntarily longed for the night,
expecting the pure white to be tarnished,
expecting the danger creeping upon us,
as well as the temptation.
We attempt to shatter the moonlight,
while pouring out the brimming love in our hearts,
though not for the spring that has passed.
From a touch to Forming a unity is an experimental practice, this publication uses touch as a means of perception and skin as a medium of sensation, exploring the intimacy possibility of cross-species and queer through the continuous touch and caress between me and tree.
Special thanks to Mante Cheng and Ru Cai for their support, companionship, encouragement and love.