Birds - Harmony of the Forest Wang Keping
26 Apr - 04 Jun, 2017 | 10 Chancery Lane Gallery

 (26 April, 2017) HONG KONG-
10 Chancery Lane Gallery and as part of Le French May associated projects announces
the latest premier of acclaimed French-Chinese Artist Wang Keping, Birds, Harmony of
the Forest. This series focuses on Wang Keping’s Bird series from 1982 to 2016. He
explains that he sees birds within the trees through their branches and shapes. The
creatural forms are an abstraction of actual birds and allow him to expose the details of
the wood and its textures that they can lend to the sculpture. This exhibition invites
viewers into the world of Wang Keping’s Birds, Harmony of the Forest and to
understand their elegance, eroticism and humor.
“Birds, the harmony of the forest,” has been accomplished through many years of
creating and keeping aside his favorite bird sculptures to be shown for the first time
together in Hong Kong during the Silver Jubilee of the French May. This group of works
remains very special to the artist, allowing him to work with such simple shapes,

almost a swirl of movement creating an undefined formation within space. Endearing somehow
with tenderness they urge to be caressed. Wang says, “My birds are not really birds,” a
notion that is not hard to grasp as they are somewhere in between reality and
otherness. Wang’s work has evolved over the last 40 years to incorporate a lifetime of
his collaboration with wood, nature and his simplified creatural sculptures. His bird
sculptures are yet another way to express his meaning. His truth is somewhere in the
core of our humanity and it is there inside the wood waiting for him to bring it out. The
strength is the way he pulls all of these aspects together and Wang Keping does it with
such poignancy and honesty that we are drawn to his works because they exude the
joy of what art can give to all of us, truth and beauty.

Wang Keping’s birds are just one of his main themes, along with women, men, mother
holding child, couples and abstract works he terms “ex-voto.” Ever present around him
in his atelier he observes the birds as the harmony of the forest but he observes them in
relation to the trees and their branches that also resemble the figure of a bird. Like all of
his works the object he sculpts is less important than the form that emerges from it.
The subject is an excuse to get to the essence of what truth and beauty he is looking
for inside the block of wood. The final image is an abstraction of the idea. And through
the process, all the natural elements of the wood become important. The natural knot
might be in the middle, and the artist will cut a curve into the work around it
incorporating the swirl of a beak. The grain might allow the flowing of the neck or even
create a pattern that resembles feathers. The cracks might create an even blanket on
the work that etch a circular pattern. The wood might be a flowing river of natural
bumps and contours; he appreciates their ability to add certain feelings and textures to
the piece and he consciously incorporates them into the sculpture itself. All of these
refined aspects of the wood are thought about and employed. He knows all the
intricacies of the different trees he works with and the characteristics they will give. Ash
wood has a beautiful and prominent grain; maple tends to show little grain yet can be
dense like stone but shows tones of honey coloring. Yew is a hard and knotty bush that
contains numerous bumps and protrusions that he allows his hand to go around rather
than fight through its toughness. “Some parts are soft,” he explains, “others hard,

I let the wood guide me.” The feeling is always there, he knows where to go. He explains,
"Each piece of wood will give something different." He might have ten pieces of cedar
wood or yew wood but they will not give the same outcome. “Each tree is unique,
having grown under different conditions thus the wood from each tree even if they are
the same will be different,” he explains. It is this understanding that allows such a
personal conception and perception of each piece he sculpts. Around his studio, he
shows me a bird sculpture in process. The work is covered with a plastic bag. “I want
to control the speed in which the work dries so the cracks will be more even.” Large
blocks of wood will take several years to dry, smaller chunks maybe two years, thus
from the beginning, it is a minimum of two to three years before it is finished. He is
patient and a perfectionist.

 

About the Artist
Wang Keping was born in China in 1949, the year of the founding of the People’s
Republic of China. Self taught, he started making wooden sculptures in 1978 and
became one of the founders of China’s first contemporary art movements, The Stars
(Xing Xing星星) Group. His works were a voice of revolt within a China that was on the
verge of transformation in the years following the end of the Cultural Revolution and the
death of Chairman Mao Zedong. The first Stars Exhibition was an unauthorized
exhibition of artists who hung their works on the gates of the National Art Museum of
China. After two days the police confiscated the works and the Stars artists organized a
march to demand artistic freedom. A year later, the same group of artists was invited to
show inside the National Art Museum of China. Wang Keping’s works were some of the
most boldly political among the group and were written about in the New York Times
and Wall Street Journal in 1979 and 1980. His sculpture “Silence” showed a deafened
and blinded man, an analogy of the times. His work “Idol” was perhaps the first artwork
ever to make a parody of Chairman Mao by turning him into a Buddha figure. Artist
Wang Keping along with Huang Rui and Ma Desheng were the key leaders of the Stars
Group movement which also included Ai Wei Wei. Wang Keping left for France in 1984
and continued his work turning away from political focus and concentrating more on
simplified sculptures of both figurative and abstract themes. Inspired by the simplicity of
the modernist Constantin Brancusi, the elegance of Chinese Han sculpture and the
bruteness of African sculpture, Wang Keping for the last 40 years has honed a unique
sculptural voice truly his own. At the heart of his work is the wood. He describes his
sculptural process of a collaboration of what the wood has to give him and what he has
to give to the wood.

 Wang Keping is recognized internationally and has been collected and exhibited at the
Musée National d’Art Moderne, Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris; the M+ Uli Sigg
Collection, Hong Kong; the Fukuoka Asian Art Museum, Fukuoka, among others.
In 2015, Wang Keping was awarded with the Chevalier de L’Ordre des Arts et des
Lettres (France).

 

About 10 Chancery Lane Gallery
Since 2001, 10 Chancery Lane Gallery has been a driving force in contemporary art in
Hong Kong and is one of Asia’s leading contemporary art galleries. Representing the
Asia-Pacific, the gallery is particularly interested in emerging art movements and
historically important artists from the region.
Representing important artists such as Huang Rui, Wang Keping and Shi Guorui
(China), Atul Dodiya (India), Bui Cong Khanh, The Propeller Group and Dinh Q. Lê
(Vietnam), and Manit Sriwanichpoom (Thailand), 10 Chancery Lane Gallery is committed
to playing a role in documenting the development of Asian art. The gallery has worked
with curators Feng Boyi, Beyond the Red Curtain - China, Erin Gleeson, Forever Until
Now - Contemporary Art Cambodia, iola Lenzi, Subjective Truth - Thai Contemporary
Art, Zoe Butt and Dinh Q. Lê, Time Ligaments - Vietnam. Katie de Tilly is co-President
and one of the founders of the Hong Kong Art Gallery Association.
For press enquiries and to arrange interviews, please contact Bo Kim on
bo@10chancerylanegallery.com or +852 2810 0065.

 

(2017年4⽉26⽇)⾹港—10號贊善⾥畫廊宣佈,即將為旅居法國的知名中國藝術家⺩克平舉辦個
⼈作品展《⿃,森林的樂章》,⾸度展出他由1982年⾄2016年間以⿃為題所創作的雕刻作品,是次
展覽亦是本年度法國五⽉藝術節聯辦節⺫之⼀。⺩克平說,從⽊頭的枝幹及形態中,他看到⿃的⾝
影存在。其雕刻作品以抽象線條表現出⿃的美態,同時透過⿃的造型,展現出⽊頭的細節及質感。
《⿃,森林的樂章》誠邀觀眾進⼊⺩克平的世界,感受其⿃形雕刻的優雅,及隱喻其中的⾊情與幽
默。
藝術家多年來持續創作⿃形雕刻,並將其中最喜愛的作品收藏起來。適逢法國五⽉藝術節銀禧紀
念,《⿃,森林的樂章》將⾸度展出這些從未公開展⽰的珍藏作品。這批作品對藝術家⽽⾔尤其特
別,因為他得以運⽤簡約線條及形狀來創作,仿似在所處空間內以⼀連串利落動作,輕描淡寫地勾
劃出前所未⾒的形態。它們看上去神態溫柔細膩,令⼈不禁想要輕輕撫摸。⺩說:「我的⿃不真正
是⿃。」這也不難理解,因為它們存在於與似與不似的微妙之間。⺩克平的創作在過去四⼗年來不
斷演變,他傾注⼀⽣與⽊頭打交道,發展出順應⾃然的簡約動物及⼈形雕刻。他雕刻的⿃正是另⼀
種闡述其藝術觀的⽅式。他的真理存在於我們⼈性的中⼼,潛藏在⽊頭之內,靜待他去發掘並展現
出來。其作品的⼒量,在於他融匯多⽅⾯的⼿法坦誠直率,令作品強⽽有⼒,觸動⼈⼼,因為它們
正正展⽰出藝術所能帶給我們的歡愉:真理與美。

⿃是⺩克平其中⼀個主要的創作主題,其他還有⼥⼈、男⼈、⺟與⼦、伴侶、以及題為「ex-voto」
的抽象作品,意指「性品」。他觀察到在⼯作室內常年圍著他轉的⿃兒們,是森林中的和諧樂章,
他看著牠們與樹的關連,也看到樹枝的形態帶有⿃的⾝影。像他所有作品⼀樣,雕刻的主題遠不及
勾劃出輪廓的形狀本⾝重要。主題只是⼀個藉⼝,讓藝術家借此來觸及他創作的本質—他想從⼀件
⽊頭中發掘出怎樣的情趣與美感。最終成品是⼀個意念的概述。透過雕刻創作的過程,⽊頭的所有
⾃然元素變得更形重要。天然的⽊結疤可能擱在作品中央,於是藝術家會順著其勾劃曲線,使其迴
轉成⿃的嘴;裂痕也許會被塑造成帶環紋的上⾐覆蓋在作品⾝上;⽊頭上可能有著連綿起伏的曲
線,他意識到它們能為作品注⼊情緒與質感,致使他刻意將它們保留在作品內。所有這些細微之
處,皆⼀⼀被他精⼼推敲及規劃運⽤。他清楚瞭解各種不同⽊料的複雜性及能夠呈現的特性。⽔曲
柳有著美麗⽽明顯的紋理;楓⽊紋理雖不顯眼,卻有著豐富層次的蜜糖⾊調,且密度可以很⾼,沉
實如⽯。紫彬⽊很堅硬,結疤較多,正因為其表⾯不平,他便會沿著這些突出的結疤來雕刻,⽽不
會與其堅硬的材質硬碰。他解釋道:「同⼀棵⽊頭有些部份很軟,有些部分卻則堅硬。我讓⽊頭引
領我。」創作的感覺⼀直存在,他清楚知道該如何發展。「每件⽊頭也會展現不同之處。」或許他
⼿上有⼗件杉⽊或紫杉⽊,但它們所造出來的作品都不⼀樣。他說:「每⼀棵樹也是獨⼀無⼆的,
它們在不同的環境氣候下⽣⻑,因此即使由同⼀棵樹的⽊頭也會各有不同。」正是這份深切的了
解,賦予每件作品獨有的個⼈感悟。在其⼯作室內,他向我展⽰⼀件正在雕刻中的⿃。作品被塑膠
袋覆蓋著。「我想要控制作品乾燥的速度,以令裂痕更⾒平均。」⼤件的⽊材需要數年的時間才能乾透,⼩件的也需要⼆年不等,因此⾃開始動⼿創作起計算,每件⽊雕作品需要⾄少⼆⾄三年始能
完成。王克平,是⼀位極有耐性的完美主義者。

 

關於藝術家
⺩克平於1949年出⽣於北京,中共攻克北平正是中華⼈⺠共和國成⽴之年。他在1978年開始⾃學以
⽊頭進⾏雕刻,後成為中國⾸個當代藝術運動「星星美展」的其中⼀位發起⼈。其時⽂化⼤⾰命剛
結束以及⽑澤東主席逝世,中國正處於改⾰轉變的邊沿,他的作品在國內是⼀股反叛的聲⾳。第⼀
屆的「星星美展」是⼀場⾮官⽅的反叛藝術展覽,藝術家們在中國美術館圍欄外掛起作品作展⽰。
兩⽇後,公安到來扣押了作品,促使藝術家們發起⼀場爭取藝術創作⾃由的遊⾏⽰威。⼀年後,這
班藝術家獲邀在中國美術館內舉辦展覽。在所有展出作品中,⺩克平的雕刻尤其帶有強烈的政治
性,分別在1979年及1980年獲《紐約時報》及《華爾街⽇報》刊載報導。他的作品《沉默》,是⼀
個被封了眼塞住⽿的頭像,⽐喻了當時情感壓抑的狀態。另⼀件作品《偶像》或許是⾸件以⽑主席
為題的諷刺作品,將其塑造成⼀尊佛像的模樣。⺩克平連同⿈銳及⾺德升是「星星」的主要領頭
⼈,當時參與藝術家中還包括艾未未。⺩克平於1984年移居法國繼續創作,題材慢慢由政治主題轉
向線條簡約的⼈形或抽象雕塑。由初時受到如現代⼤師Constantin Brancusi的簡約⾵格,以及漢代
雕刻的優雅及⾮洲雕刻的率性影響,經過四⼗年磨練及沉殿後,⺩克平已發展出⼀套完全屬於他的
雕刻⾵格。其作品重⼼始終是⽊頭。他形容他的雕刻過程,是他與⽊頭之間互相能賦予彼此的交流
結合。


王克平作品廣受國際認同,被不同藝術館及機構收藏及展出,包括法國國⽴現代藝術美術館、巴黎
蓬⽪杜⽂化中⼼、⾹港M+希克藏品、⽇本福岡美術館等等。


王克平於2015年獲法國政府授予「藝術與⽂學騎⼠勳章」。

有關10號贊善⾥畫廊
創辦於2001年,10號贊善⾥畫廊積極推動當代藝術在⾹港的發展,是亞洲地區最領先的畫廊之⼀。
畫廊代理亞太地區當代藝術家及作品,尤其專注於發掘及展出區內新興的藝術運動,以及在藝術史
上產⽣重要影響的藝術家。
畫廊代表的重要藝術家包括:中國藝術家⿈銳、⺩克平及史國瑞、印度藝術家Atul Dodiya、越南藝
術家Bui Cong Khanh、The Propeller Group及Dinh Q. Lê,以及泰國藝術家 Manit Sriwanichpoom
等。10號贊善⾥畫廊致⼒紀錄亞太地區藝術發展,積極與各地優秀策展⼈合作,包括邀得馮
博⼀策展中國當代藝術展《Beyond the Red Curtain》、由Erin Gleeson策展的柬埔寨當代藝術展
《Forever Until Now》,由Lola Lenzi策展的泰國當代藝術展《Subjective Truth》及由Zoe Butt 和
Dinh Q. Lê共同策劃的越南當代藝術展《Time Ligaments》等。畫廊總監Katie de Tilly⼥⼠是⾹港
畫廊協會的聯合主席及創會會員之⼀。