Eternal Smile Wang Keping
26 May - 31 Aug, 2011 | 10 Chancery Lane Gallery

Wang Keping's Eternal Smile opens at 10 Chancery Lane Gallery

[23 May, 2011, Hong Kong] - Wang Keping launches an entirely new series of works made out of iron in his current exhibition opening at 10 Chancery Lane Gallery in Central.  The works entitled Eternal Smile is made to be set in a series of horizontal smiles or vertical smiles.  They can be formed into endless walls, towers, floor installations or one-off pieces on the wall, or upon a podium. 

As Wang Keping states, “The iron boxes from the Eternal Smile series is a breakthrough of my ongoing exploration of wood carving, it presents the same underlying idea with the use of a different medium.  This is an extension or evolution of my work through a change of material, rather than a change of my relative direction.”  Bertrand Lorquin of the Musée Maillol stated in his catalogue text, “The works of Wang Keping are constantly evolving.  After early ‘primitive’ sculptures came simplified figures.  Through the use of contrast in lines of the figure, he aligns his art with an allegory of Yin and Yang.”

Wang continues to speak of his works, “The iron boxes can stand or lay flat. It shows a horizontal mouth or a vertical mouth. It’s elegant as well as humorous. A circle sits within the square, a square outside the circle; both soft and hard, abstract yet figurative.  It has surfaces and dimensions, both curves and lines. It contains art as well as philosophy, irony and humanity. It has technology, architecture, and endless possibilities. It has Zen and Taoism created with concept and construction. It is avant-garde, modernism and contemporary. Somehow it is also post-modernism. It is everything.”

“If ever form spoke directly to the eye of the viewer, it is here. And what form! If, as I believe, what has been called the ‘inner core’ of art is the way in which the artist transforms feeling into form, then we can see that mysterious process taking place before our eyes, in Wang Keping’s passionate engagement.” Michael Sullivan wrote in Wang’s book, Wang Keping.

L’enfant terrible of the 1979 Beijing avant-garde Star Groups continues to impress us again and again with his new installation of iron works never seen before.  As Prof. Michael Sullivan (author of Art and Artists of 20th Cent. China) stated in his book about Wang Keping with reference to his works in 1979, “…The work of Wang Keping shook Chinese sculpture once and for all free of the 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.”

Born in Beijing in 1949, the son of famous actress Liu Yanjin and acclaimed writer Wang Lin, Wang Keping is one of the founders of the first non-conformist artist’s group “THE STARS” (XING XING) which was formed in 1979 during the post-cultural revolution “Beijing Spring.”  He was a pioneer in the fight for artistic freedom in China.  He has been living in Paris since 1984. His works have been exhibited at the the Centre Pompidou, Paris, The Musée Maillol, Paris, The Musée Zadkine, Paris, The Saatchi Gallery, London, The He Xiangning Museum, China, The Fukuoka Museum, Japan to name a few. 

Exhibition runs until July 23rd. 





Monday, May 23rd 6:00-8:00pm

Please join us for a celebration of

Wang Keping’s Eternal Smile

Opening remarks by Sir David Tang, K.B.E., at 7:00 pm



Artist’s Talk Saturday, May 28th, 10am:
Wang Keping in Conversation with Phil Tinari, Editor of Leap Magazine
(limited capacity please RSVP to re: Wang Keping talk)