Z. Z. Wei was born in 1957 in Beijing, China. He started painting during the years of Culture Revolution. Art was his sanctuary from all the turmoil in his childhood and soon became his lifelong pursuit. He graduated from The Central Institute of Arts and Design (now The Academy of Arts and Design of Tsinghua University) in 1984. By the age of 30, he had two exhibitions at China National Museum of Fine Arts.
In 1989, Z.Z. was invited by the Washington State Centennial Commission to participate in the Pacific Rim Cultural Connection Project and to be a resident artist at Cornish College of the Arts, Seattle, Washington. This led to another residency in 1991 at Whitman College in Walla Walla, Washington. The following year, he was honored with the Western States Arts Federation (WEST AF)/NEA Regional Fellowship for Visual Artists. Then, in 1993, Z.Z. had an exhibit at the Frye Art Museum, Seattle, WA.
Upon his first arrival to the Northwest, Z.Z. Wei could not believe the beauty spread before him. His first experiences in the Pacific Northwest were visual revelations. He embarked on an artistic odyssey in a quest to paint powerful images of rural America. He found the strong and unique landscapes in this region, and the spirit which moved through them, mirrored his inner passions and the art ideas he sought. This explosion of awareness coupled with hi s own memories of home have created a visual text in his work that is an intoxicating sensation of the past and present.
The melancholy meandering through the back roads of the Northwest countryside has set a strong tone for collectors throughout the international art market. A misty street, a rolling wheat field, a falling leaf, shadows dancing across the side of a barn, and an old car on a lonely road are all images conveyed by Z.Z. with such vigor and vitality that the spiritual nature of their simplicity come to the fore.
Awards and Recognition
Selected by Washington State Centennial Committee for the Pacific Rim Cultural
Resident Artist at Cornish College of the Arts, Seattle, WA
Resident Artist at Whitman College, Walla Walla, WA
Received the 1992 Western States Arts Federation (WESTAF)/NEA Regional Fellowship for Visual Artists.
KIRO Television's "In Color", artist's profile and interview with Z Z Wei,
March 26th, Seattle, WA
Vancouver Art Museum, auction invitational, Vancouver, BC
Bellevue Philharmonic, The Art of the Violin, Fund Raising Invitational
Asian Resource Center, Special Recognition Award given to Washington Asian Americans for their contributions to the arts
United States Secretary of Commerce, "Sunset", Curated collection of Northwest Artists on loan to Secretary Gary Locke's office, Washington D.C.
Governor's Mansion Foundation Exhibitor of the year 2011
"Art Across America", Architectural Digest, August
Reviews, Baker, Kenneth. Artweek, February
"Bridging Cultures", Campbell, Virginia, Southwest Art, January
"Changing Landscapes", Targos, Renee. Art Talk, November/December
Previews, Koppman, Debra, Artweek, April.
"Z. Z. Tops.", Frauchiger, Fritz A. 111 Magazine, January
"Spring Reflections", Western Art Collector, April