One afternoon early in this century, I was working on a project in San Jose's Rose Garden district, and wandered off to visit a local art center. There I encountered an artist named Wayne Jiang, and an exhibit called "Night Paintings." There were views of the city at night, evocatively rendered glimpses of moonlit bungalows with interiors lit only by the ghostly glow of television...
And views of the city's forgotten corners, like this freeway underpass reflecting the yellow orange glow of sodium vapor lights.
There were shifted perspectives, too, like the scene below, in which the viewer surveys the street from some hidden elevated prospect, and the dark shapes of the foreground rooftops make a negative space as strong as the jagged strip of facades reflecting the pale yellow street light.
Perched above a sleeping neighborhood, the viewer may be struck by the negative space first. The lurking shapes are rendered flat by darkness, and the areas of light form stark, simple geometries. These paintings exert a power beyond any limits imposed by their dimensions. Most are quite small; "Nocturnal Rhapsody #2", shown below, is 8" x 10".
Image Credits + Notes:
All images are subject to the copyright of Wayne Jiang.
Mr. Jiang's latest work is displayed in great scope and detail at his website, waynejiang.com. The Manna Gallery in Oakland, California will feature a solo show of Wayne Jiang's work in April, 2018. Information on dates and times is available at mannagallery.com.