It was a chance by accident when we first met Wei Jia. We were doing an exclusive interview of the artists couple Wei Jia and Lin Yan for Conde Nast Traveler magazine. Some of Wei Jia’s works were also exhibited in his solo exhibition “A Way of Life” at Fou Gallery at that time.
Kind, warm and peaceful was our first impression of the couple. Their life is never about how rich they are, but how well they’ve been living in every single moment.
We talked about their daily routine of taking a walk in Prospect Park and how they established a solid footing when they first came to US. We talked about their creativity and insistency of art, and even the story of their son traveling alone all over the world.
Unfortunately, his wife Lin Yan was busy with her exhibition back in China while we were planning about this interview. So we simply took a walk together in Prospect Park, and headed to his creative studio afterwards.
Along we were walking, Wei Jia was so excited to tell us about what’s going on here, like how a tree looked differently from dawn till sunset, how everything changed from spring to winter, and his favorite place —— Daydreaming Pavilion.
He said that the details of life were so beautiful. And this came genuinely from deep in his heart. He acts like an unexperienced kid, being passionate and curious about everything in life, and willing to go on new adventure.
I mentioned about staying at home for most of my spare time to him while he’s sharing the little but amazing changes in everyday life. Though he didn’t say a word, but I could tell he felt pity for me for missing all the beautiful moments in life.
Wei Jia’s studio is located in Long island city in Queens, the whole space has been well-organized with his wife’s and his artworks. Random pieces of paper were all over the floor, people may easily throw them into trash can when they first see them, unless they know all the pieces of paper would be cut, reorganized and glued in new orders, with all of these steps led to a new and special piece of art.
I randomly took a few shots of him as we were chatting in his studio. And the photos turned out greater than I originally thought. There was no fine apparel, but we could clearly see his persistence to art and peaceful mind from his look.
I asked Wei Jia being an artist for decades, is there a moment he ever regretted about this decision?
He was lost in his thoughts for a little while, and said,
“I ‘m not interested in pursuing the same kind of success of others, or the same kind of wealthiness of others, or the same kind of happiness of others, but I hope they enjoy (the way of pursuing those things). Life is short, spend every second on what you are passionate about.”
After the interview, while we were packing all the gears, he got ready to leave with us as well.
I was wondering that why he wouldn’t continue to do his work in the studio like usual.
He said that it’s little special today because his son wasn’t at home, couldn’t wait to go play his djembe.
文 | 汤思宇
Author | SIYU TANG