Hidden Force: Wang Guangxu

Hong Kong’s 10 Chancery Lane Gallery is pleased to introduce Beijing artist Wang Guangxu, curated by Tang Zehui, in his first Hong Kong solo exhibition.

Innovative artist Wang Guangxu creates sculptural works using magnets and iron ore. Having been featured in the UCCA exhibition “The New Normal” last year, he is one of the most exciting young artists to explore the use of unconventional materials in China. Wang describes himself as an intermediary in the process of his creation. The magnetic force allows the artist only a certain amount of control as the materials act to self-organize themselves. It is an indirect and hidden power that determines the work and releasing his control allowed him to begin to find the infinite possibilities of his process. The artist stated “I naively wanted to control the material but later I found out that not controlling it actually gives more possibilities. The material and I are on equal level and in many situations the material can tell me what to do.”

The works presented are both wall reliefs as well as sculptural works. The hair-like filaments of the iron ore morph into fuzzy trails and patterns. Worm-like chains cover the surface of “Gauss 2” as the forms squiggle in loops and circles in contrived designs. The title references the German mathematician, Johann Carl Friedrich Gauss, whose work significantly contributed to the understanding and measurements of magnetic fields. Wang considers forces of his intervention to be an equal partner to the forces of the magnetic field. The work “Fur” is formed on a magnetic chain that hangs from the ceiling. The soft hairs of the iron are nearly impossible to not want to touch as they dangle in front of the viewer in biblical temptation. Exhibition curator, Tang Zehui, described that “Under the attraction of magnets, the powdered iron particles accumulate, group and obtain their expression and style in an extremely delicate way. They show a fur-like texture and luster, or a growing state of mushroom and moss. This contrast changes our stereotype perspective of the material. As a result, a powerful and different kind of beauty is presented between hard and soft, industrial and organic.”

Fascinated by subtle, trivial and everyday materials, he uses observation and intuition through his process. As a self-taught artist he feels free from the constraints of academic burden. He is the brother of famed artist Wang Guangle and lives among the artistic milieu of Beijing’s vibrant art scene, but chooses in his practice to rely on his own comprehension of self and determination. He doesn’t like to explain his works as much as to allow the viewer to experience them leaning towards mystery and uncertainty as a conceptual idea over fact and reason.

10 Chancery Lane Gallery director Katie de Tilly states: “The works of Wang Guangxu represent both the force and fragility of our world today, as a medium of action and articulation, this innovative artist seems to encapsulate our ever-changing and unpredictable present.”