Profile: meet Green Templeton’s Artist-in-Residence Weimin He

Weimin He Self Portrait (c) Weimin He

Self portrait (c) Weimin He

Green Templeton appointed Weimin He as the College’s first-ever Artist-in-Residence in August 2018, following a connection to the College stretching back almost a decade.

Weimin’s link with Green Templeton began in 2009, when he was named Artist-in-Residence for the Oxford University Estates Services, tasked with documenting the huge redevelopment of the Radcliffe Observatory Quarter in the forms of drawing and printmaking.

For the next six years, he chronicled the changes as the old hospital site was transformed into the University of Oxford’s new academic vicinity, centered around the Radcliffe Observatory and its famous Tower of the Winds within Green Templeton’s boundaries.

He said: “I had spent six years creating artworks reflecting the transformation of the Radcliffe Observatory site before I became a member of Green Templeton. The Tower is a symbol of the new academic centre of the University of Oxford, at the same time it is part of Green Templeton College, so naturally the Tower tied me with the College.”

“In 2018, I was fortunately invited by the College to be the Artist-in-Residence,” he added. “This represents a new phase in my life and in my artistic career. I very much enjoy the academic and friendly atmosphere of the College. It has been my great pleasure to share my passion for art with the members of the College.”

He is now celebrating the release of a new book, The Tower of Winds (2008 to 2018), featuring sketches, ink paintings and woodcut prints he created during the Radcliffe Observatory’s period of transformation. Inspired by Hokusai’s thirty-six views of Mount Fuji, Weimin used the Tower of the Radcliffe Observatory as the focal point for each print.

Radcliffe Observatory (c) John Cairns

The Radcliffe Observatory at Green Templeton (c) John Cairns

Weimin was born in Heilongjiang, Northeast China, and studied art from a young age. He studied oil painting, Chinese ink painting and the history of art at Harbin College of Art, where he was awarded a BA, before securing a MA from the Lu Xun Academy of Fine Arts in Shenyang, where he specialised in printmaking.

He worked as a professional artist in Heilongjiang Printmaking Institute for eight years before being awarded a Muban Foundation Scholarship (now the Muban Educational Trust) to study printmaking at the University of Ulster’s School of Art and Design in Belfast, gaining a DPhil in 2005.

Weimin moved to Oxford later that year, taking up a post as Christensen Fellow of Chinese Painting at the Ashmolean Museum.

He remained in that position until 2008, when he began an eight-month role as Artist-in-Residence for the Ashmolean, documenting its expansion building project.

Weimin is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Painter Printmakers, a member of the Chinese Artists’ Association and a Trustee of the Muban Educational Trust. He is also a life drawing tutor at the Ruskin School of Art, University of Oxford.

His artworks have been exhibited or collected worldwide, including by The British Museum, The Ashmolean Museum, The Metropolitan Museum of Art and The China National Gallery.

Created: 5 February 2019