5th Anniversary Show Wang Keping
25 May - 01 Jul, 2006 | 10 Chancery Lane Gallery

ACCLAIMED CHINESE SCULPTOR AND FORMER DISSIDENT EXHIBITS HIS WORK AT 10 CHANCERY LANE GALLERY

HONG KONG, June 9, 2006 Acclaimed wood sculptor, Wang Keping, has branched into bronze and will exhibit his large-scale works for the first time ever in Hong Kong at 10 Chancery Lane Gallery’s 5th anniversary show.  The gallery will exhibit, in addition, a selection of wood works created from 1996 until  2005.

Wang Keping is known for his sensual female figures that attract touch.  His dark wood sculptures flow in the shapes of breasts and curves with such simplicity that the grain of wood oftentimes traces the lines of each curve. Reminiscent and inspired by the ease of African sculpture he has defined his own recognizable style of shape and form.  Each and every one of his works are unique although he plays on similar themes repeatedly, there are never  two works alike. The dark color is obtained by burning the wood before the final polishing.

For the first time, Wang Keping has made large-scale bronze works.  There are three different sculptures each impossible to have been made in wood.  He explores the new materials by creating two women and a vase. The vase is a 1M65 tall woman’s bottom  which resembles a vase. He explains that his inspiration came from the Chinese expression “a  beautiful woman is like a vase.” The simple form is a shape of significance to the artist and he has been repeating this shape for many years claiming it through pureness that his forms speak. 

Historical Significance of Wang Keping

Wang Keping is a self-taught artist who came to discover his talent in 1979 when the Beijing Spring brought a resurgence of freedoms and ideas to the youth of China.  He, along with his contemporaries, formed a movement entitled “the Stars” (Xing Xing), they believed they were the points of light in the endless black. Together, this group of artists stimulated the entire contemporary arts movement in China!  They turned Beijing’s artistic and political establishment upside down and opened the way for artistic freedom for all those who followed them.  One year later their show was transferred to the interiors of the National Museum for the “Second STARS Exhibition”. “One of the leading organizers was Wang Keping, a young self-taught sculptor who was also one of the group’s most articulate spokespersons.”  The exhibition made such waves that it featured on the front page of the New York Times.

Considered dissidents, many of the Stars left  China, Wang Keping fled to France where he has been living and working since 1984. 

As Michael Sullivan says in his book, Art and artists in twentieth century China, “...The work of Wang Keping shook Chinese sculpture once and for all free of conventions it had labored under since it had first become a recognized art form in China. This new freedom stimulated young sculptors, liberated some of the established ones and opened the way to a vast enlarging of the range of style and expression.”

Currently, Wang’s work is less political and more elemental. Made of wood, he searches for the soul inside each piece finding the roots and knots that evolve into form. He speaks of allowing his works to evolve and alter themselves. His pieces flow in their sensual smoothness and are inspired by the unity of philosophical Taoism where man and beast belong to the same realm.

His powerful works have reached international acclaim.  In 1999 he was selected as one of the few sculptors for the exhibition, “Les Champs de la Sculpture,” where 8 of his works were shown on the Avenue des Champs Elysées in Paris. A few of his public collections include, The Olympic Games Park (Seoul), Museum of Modern Art (Taizhong), Aidekman Art Center (Boston), Museum of Contemporary Asian Art (Fukuoka), International Park of Sculpture (Pu-Yeo), Collections de la Ville de Paris (Collections of the City of Paris), Guerlain Foundation Private Collection (Paris).

So forceful is Wang Keping’s conviction of his artistic integrity that he states boldly, “I believe my works hold a remarkable place in art history despite the limited audience at the present moment.  I think my understanding of sculpture in these recent years, the way I perceive the prospect of sculptural creation, is unrivaled, I do think I am outstanding.”