Zhan Wang: My Personal Universe
UCCA Ullens Center for Contemporary Art, 798 Art District, No.4 Jiuxianqiao Lu, Chaoyang District, Beijing, China 100015
26 November, 2011 – 25 February, 2012
In what might be read as a change in direction for Zhan Wang, the new large-scale installation at UCCA broadens his works’ outlook from the establishment of monuments to the creation of the universe as creative material. In the process the artist addresses some big questions about our place in the universe, but ultimately manages to lose his sympathetic connection with the human body.
His long-running Artificial Rock series of scholars’ rocks recreated in stainless steel now dot the world, playing with the role of the monumental in public space. Critic Huang Du sees them as existing between tradition and modernity, and these contemporary versions of the traditional stones literally and symbolically reflect the appearance of whatever is around them in their polished forms. But this trope has now become ubiquitous, almost a cliché, so how does the artist progress?