Wang Du: Musée d’Art Contemporain de la Chine
Tang Contemporary Art, 798 Art District, No.2 Jiuxianqiao Road, Chaoyang District, Beijing, China
24 March – 30 April, 2012
Wang Du thinks big, and his new piece, a model of a split and rusting aircraft carrier hulk, purportedly presents his proposal for a suitably grandiose Chinese Museum of Contemporary Art. Wang’s installation could be taken for a monument to a megalomaniac architect’s visionary plans, or—as he suggests—a country’s obsessive statecraft through the building of overpowering structures.
But I see this installation not as a model that looks beyond itself to a completed form. For me the stress remains on this mass of iron as a sculpture in its own right. It does not represent a proposed thing anymore, this is not about projections into the future, but about the nature of the desire’s represented through the object as it stands. The artist makes this clear by referencing the use of museums as powerful tools of diplomacy, physical embodiments of ideology, and manifestations of propaganda. The model is as much representative of this as any completed structure.