Wei Nan 隗楠 was born in Beijing, China, in 1994. She obtained her Bachelor's Degree in Art and Design from the Beijing University of Technology in 2016. In between her studies, Wei gained an opportunity for an exchange study at Saga University in Japan, which inspired her interest in lacquer art and woodwork. Subsequently, she decided to study in Japan to broaden her horizons. Wei earned her Master's Degree from the Graduate School of Faculty of Art and Regional Design, Saga University. She is pursuing her Doctoral Degree at the Graduate School of Fine Arts of Kyoto University of Arts.
At a relatively young age, Wei received numerous awards while studying in Japan, including the Cultural Foundation Award at the 67th Japan Saga Prefectural Art Exhibition in 2017, and the Student Award at the 57th Japan Crafts Exhibition in 2018, the Encouragement Award at the 59th Japan Crafts Exhibition in 2020. In addition, her work was selected to exhibit at one of the most prestigious exhibitions, Ishikawa International Urushi Exhibition, in 2020. Most recently her work “Power of Flower” is awarded the Grand Prize of “Art meets Architecture Competition” (AAC 2021) in Japan.
“I love to create innovative conceptual works that respect the material’s natural qualities. I explore the Shippi technique from the Asuka period in Japan. I use genuine leather in my lacquer pieces as it offers elasticity. First, a piece of leather is stretched onto a mould so that I can create a form to express my concept. Next, at least five layers of lacquer are applied to the leather to harden it. The surface is then mounted with linen. Additional layers of lacquer are applied for strength and thickness.”