"Assiniboine Park Foot Bridge"
Weiming Zhao, "Assiniboine Park Foot Bridge," oil on canvas, 16" X 20".
WEIMING ZHAO, Capturing a Fleeting Moment
Woodlands Gallery, Winnipeg
May 28 to June 13, 2009
By Jill Sawyer
There’s a softness and peace that fills Weiming Zhao’s canvases that almost feels like an exhalation, sinking into the safety and beauty of nature. The sense of tranquility in his paintings takes on a greater meaning, underscored by the story of his journey to find those beautiful settings. Growing up in remote northwestern China, at the height of the Cultural Revolution, drawing and painting were an escape for Zhao, who taught himself how to read and speak English, and taught it to others. The language brought him to Canada, where he studied at Brandon University in Manitoba. After five years in Canada, he returned to China for his family, and they’ve since settled in Brandon. In 2003, after three decades without art, he picked up his brushes again, and has since produced a portfolio of more than 1000 paintings. It may not have occurred to Zhao to paint anything but the landscapes and wildlife of the eastern prairies, and the parks of his small Manitoba city — the settings provide an endless source of joy and inspiration to him.