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 Wei Luan  (1957 - )

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Lived/Active: Alberta / Canada/China      Known for: mural and easel painting, sculpture

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Ad Code: 3
AskART Artist
from Auction House Records.
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Wei Luan is a muralist, sculptor and painter.  He was born in Manchuria, (north east) China.  He left China for New York in 1989 and subsequently emigrated to Edmonton, Alberta, Canada in 1990, which is his current home.
His primary mediums are murals on the sides of buildings and oil paintings.  His mural subjects are historic scenes, genre, social commentary and industry.  The subjects of his oil paintings are primarily portraits and social commentary (1).  His style is Realism*.
He studied at Luxun Academy of Fine Arts, Shenyang, Liaoning Province (north east China).  After graduation he became an Associate Professor in the School of Art Design of Harbin University, Harbin, Heilongjiang, China (about 400 miles north of Shenyang).
He was one of the founders of the Young Artists Association* of China (2), and is a member of the Portrait Society of America, the Californian Public Art & Mural Society, and the Global Mural Arts & Cultural Tourism Association.
In addition to exhibiting with the above organizations his master work Yellow Wall (see AskART examples) was part of the 1987 landmark exhibition “Beyond the Open Door: Contemporary Paintings from the People's Republic of China” held at the Pacific Asia Museum, Pasadena, California.
Examples of his numerous murals can be viewed in Ely, Nevada; Lindsay, California; Santa Paula, California; York, Pennsylvania; Edmonton, Alberta; and Prestonpans, East Lothian, Scotland (3).  A public space in the city of Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan displays his life-size bronze sculpture depicting a moose family.  His portrait commissions include Barbara Bush, Charlton Heston, Larry King, Wayne Gretsky and Shimon Peres.
(1) Most of his work is commissioned by cities or individuals so one expects they would have some say in determining or approving the subjects.
(2) The Young Artists Association was one of many Chinese artist organizations formed in the mid 1980’s marking the end of the Cultural Revolution (1976) and the beginning of a "New Wave," which advocated artistic freedom and independence from official ideology.  Quote: “Openly antagonistic to official culture, they champion individualism, freedom of expression, and a radical overhaul of aesthetic concepts and forms; they reject both Chinese traditional art and socialist realism, deploying instead western modern and post-modern styles such as Surrealism*, Dada*, Pop*, and conceptual art*.”  Source : “Inside Out: New Chinese Art “ (1998) Curated by Gao Minglu in association with the Asia Society and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art - Compiled by Irene S. Leung and Michael S. K. Siu.
(3) Mural Towns* - The modern "mural town" tourism industry began in 1982 in the Canadian town of Chemainus (Pop.3,500) on Vancouver Island.  It was faced with impending economic implosion following the planned closure of the sawmill, the following year, its main source of employment.  A local man, Karl Schutz, had visited Romania and noted how nuns raised funds by showing visitors the old murals in their convents.  He suggested Chemainus do the same by creating its own historic murals.  Today the town attracts between 350,000 and 450,000 visitors a year, thanks to its murals painted by invited contemporary artists.  Some of the first murals were painted by Harry Heine, Harold Lloyd Lyon, Ernest Marza and Paul Ygartua (see all in AskART).  The saw mill reopened in 1985.  As of 2009 the town has 42 murals with more in the works. Other mural towns include Stony Plain, Alberta; Ely, Nevada; Ottawa, Illinois; Katikati, New Zealand; and Prestonpans, East Lothian, Scotland.  Source: "The Chemainus Murals" (1998), by Cynthia Bunbury and Gregg Perry, published by The Chemainus Festival of the Murals Society, Chemainus, B.C. ( 90 pgs, colour).

* For more in-depth information about these terms and others, see AskART Glossary
Prepared and contributed by M.D. Silverbrooke

** If you discover credit omissions or have additional information to add, please let us know at
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