Fan Dongwang is an artist of true stature. Born in Shanghai, he trained at the Shanghai School of Arts and Crafts before moving to Australia in 1990. He studied his Master of Arts at COFA, NSW University in 1995, receiving a Post Graduate Award and completed his Doctor of Creative Art at Wollongong University in 1999. Fan has an extensive exhibiting history in both China and Australia. His work has been included regularly in exhibitions at the Shanghai Art Gallery since 1982, and was featured in the Shanghai Museum Inaugural Art Exhibition in 1986, the Shanghai International Art Festival in 1987. Fan has held solo exhibitions in public galleries in NSW including Sydney University, ANU, Macquarie University and Wollongong University. He has been part of many prestigious group exhibitions including at the National Gallery in Canberra in 2000, Shanghai Star, a national touring exhibition initiated by the Casula Powerhouse Arts Centre in 2001 and the Australian Drawing Biennale in Canberra in 2004. Most recently Fan's work was shown at Macquarie University Gallery's exhibition Arboreal in 2011, the Chinese and Indian Art Exhibition, Macquarie University Art Gallery 2012 and Snake Snake Snake - an exhibition of contemporary Asian Australian Artists curated for the Sydney Art Festival 2013.
His works are held in many public collections throughout Australia and China. This is Fan's third solo exhibition at Janet Clayton Gallery.
The art of Fan Dongwang is located within this difficult territory between cultures. Having undergone a rigorous education in Shanghai, in both Western and Chinese visual traditions, his work has continued to stand at the forefront of artists in Australia dealing with this space of the in-between. He is an artist who has been a key part of the Chinese Diaspora. Many of these artists have already made significant contributions to our changing sense of Australian art and identity. Fan Dongwang is a meticulous technician whose works usually offer an alluring surface filled with complex signs and meanings. These forms derive from Chinese cultural symbols that are undergoing change and transformation; that are shifting off their axis, anxiously facing new potentials. Dr Rod Pattenden