Faces of the Silk Road

Updated: May 29, 2018 China Daily Print
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Portraits of people depicted by Wang Lei, who encounters his models randomly during his trips to cities along the Silk Road. [Photo provided to China Daily]

Wang was born in northern China's Heilongjiang province, but his father was from eastern China's Shandong province. He lives and works in Beijing.

"The frequent movements of humans make the pursuit of our origin and identity a common desire the whole world over."

Wang's passion for traveling while painting comes from his years at the Central Academy of Fine Arts, where students were required to travel to rural places to produce artworks. After graduation, Wang spent three months living with a local family in Tashi Kuergan Tajik autonomous region in Xinjiang Uyghur autonomous region, a place near the border with Pakistan and Afghanistan, and it was there that he developed a love for painting portraits.

Wang also has two other series of works - the myth series and relics series - based on the subject of the Silk Road. He has painted around 100 pieces for his portrait and relics series in the last four years.

He's not finished either. While he's completed the Asian part of his Silk Road project, he plans to set off again later this year, this time to Europe. He will travel to countries like Italy, Germany and Romania, all of which hosted trading posts to transport goods along the Silk Road in ancient times.

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