WANG XU: What’s the weather like today?
|When||7 Feb 2014 - 28 Feb 2014|
|Where||Gallery 456–Chinese American Arts Council
456 Broadway, Third Floor
New York, NY 10013
Wang Xu (Dalian, China, 1986) holds an MFA from Columbia University and a BA in sculpture from the China Central Academy of Fine Arts (CAFA). He currently lives and works between Beijing and New York.
Through his work, Wang Xu aims to train the viewer’s imagination, to change the viewer’s habits of mind, body, education, and culture. Materiality and medium are for Xu not only the space where he can perform his skills as an artist, but also the place where he can make something you cannot see, where he tells a story he hopes will make us think and feel differently. Xu scours his surroundings for everyday commodities, forms, and machines that go unnoticed or to waste, and uses his skill to adapt them in a playful way, changing their use, blowing up their size, or rendering them ephemeral and useless.
Wang Xu’s work provides him with a way to show his understanding of himself, the world, and the different kinds of relationships between people. The theme of the environment is a constant in his practice as an artist: Xu insists that he feels “surrounded” by a now globalized world. It is out of these surroundings in various places and cultures—he moved from his hometown over Beijing and Providence, Rhode Island to New York—that he delves the materials, concepts, and media that make up his practice.
Wang Xu made the sculpture The Cloud (2010) with clay, which broke into pieces when the clay dried and the temperature rose. In The Fans (2012) he created a large fan consisting of a multitude of small fans. The piece represents the uniqueness of the individual versus the abundant fullness of the world. Xu’s Balance Bicycle (2012) is useless and culturally over-determined, much like the sugar umbrella he made for the performative piece April Shower (2012). The collaborative painting Color Taxis (2013) is another attempt to tell a story about an individual engaged with his surroundings and personal memories.
Xu makes use of diverse materials, machines, and modes of representation to render his work more vivid and imaginative. The materiality of his work ranges from mud, metal, wood, and glass, to sugar. He often moves between sculpture, installation, painting, performative work, and video. His exceptional technical skills instilled in him by his art teachers in China, blended with a conceptually strong art education in the US, make for an impactful body of work.
What’s the Weather Like Today? is Wang Xu’s first solo exhibition.
The show is curated by Pieter Vanhove. Wang Di acts as Project Manager. Ming Bai has worked on the exhibition and graphic design.
Photo courtesy of the organiser/s
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