Artist_Salomé WuMeet the Artist

Salomé Wu

Can you describe your work in three words?
Bliss, Melancholia, Rebirth.

What got you into the arts? How did you become an artist?
I got into the arts because I always found myself making oil paintings in the corner of my room since the age of sixteen. At the time it seemed to be the only medium I could use to communicate with myself, to express and heal. When I graduated from university, I had a cohesive body of work but was very protective of them; I never showed them to anyone apart from my closest friends. I studied Textiles at university, specialising in Print but soon realised that it was not what I wanted to pursue. At the same time, being in my tiny, shared flat, I was running out of space to produce more painting so I started exhibiting and selling regularly.

What drew you to painting more specifically? 
I find painting quite liberating, almost as if I am creating a new form of language so that I can communicate with people in ways that I am not used to. Through my work I reveal certain facets of myself that have no fixed language or identity. I find comfort in making an image that doesn't exist in our day-to-day reality; it feels like a safe place to hide.

What is the process behind your work? 
I usually start by making some quick sketches that take about two seconds each. I don't think I've shown them to many people. I then move on to larger surfaces, either paper or canvas, and allow the ideas to come through.

What are the things that inspire you most? 
A wonderful album to listen to, or times in solitude. 

What do you hope to convey through your art? 
I hope to communicate specific ideas around the impermanence and fragility of our existence. By understanding these ideas we could find unity between one another. I think such concepts are fundamental in times like this, when there is so much uncertainty and chaos. 

Who are the artists that have inspired you most?
I love Ana Mendieta and Francesca Woodman. I also love Leonard Cohen's music and David Lynch's films.

What interested you about joining Canopy Collections?
When Louise came for a studio visit, I spoke about how each of my paintings holds much significance to me. They act as a reflection of different periods of my life, so I want them to be cherished and taken care of. Louise appreciated my desire to find good homes for them. I also loved the elegant layout of Canopy Collections' social media pages and unusual ways of showing works in homes and domestic environments. I was thrilled to see my work displayed in a dining room setting at their latest exhibition There Are No Strangers Here in collaboration with Modernity. 

Do you collect art from other artists? How important is it for you to live with art?
I wish I could, perhaps someday in the future. At the moment, I only have my work hanging on the walls. I have been used to working where I live since I was sixteen, when I first started painting. I like living with my work but am also quite excited about having a separate space to paint for the first time when I start my course at the RCA in September.

Any projects in the pipeline? 
I am currently on a residency in France, which will be followed by a duo show in June. I plan to take some quiet time to make a new body of work, and hopefully make the most of it to get some new ideas and experiment with new techniques.