At first glance, Wenjia Wang’s pieces look like inviting, warm works of art. This is intentional, as the illustrator uses what she describes as a “bright, refreshing and tender” colour palette. But, if you look a little closer, you may find yourself thinking again; fingers glide against razor sharp wires, tongues are impaled by microphones and poisonous looking bugs bite into a naked foot. This is because Wenjia wants to “shock” her audience, tricking them into thinking her work is frivolous, before then adding a layer of uneasy storytelling.
Born in China, Wenjia moved to the US when she was 17. From a young age, she practised traditional Chinese calligraphy – a fundamental in Chinese ink brush painting. Now the technique plays an important role in informing Wenjia’s penchant for the “ink-like”. Having graduated from New York’s School of visual arts and Fashion institution of technology, she currently works as a freelance illustrator, completing work for both independent musicians and galleries plus big clients like Huawei.
Wenjia Wang: Unreachable itchiness (Copyright © Wenjia Wang, 2022)
About the Author
Olivia (she/her) joined the It’s Nice That team as an editorial assistant in November 2021 and soon became staff writer. A graduate of the University of Edinburgh with a degree in English literature and history, she’s particularly interested in photography, publications and type design.