James Cohan Gallery Shanghai is pleased to present a solo exhibition, Sages’ Sayings by the Shanghai-based sculptor Wang Xieda.
Sages’ Sayings, the title of the exhibition, refers to the artist’s rigorous study of ancient Chinese pictograms or ideograms and, in particular, fourth century Chinese calligraphy. On view will be Wang Xieda’s cast bronze sculptures, ink drawings, and his recent sculptural works made of rattan that are suspended from the ceiling and evoke drawing in space. This is the artist’s debut exhibition at the gallery.
Cultural traditions and values of every country strive to find new contemporary language to keep pace with the transformation of artistic expression. Wang Xieda’s Sages’ Sayings sculpture series, begun in 2002, embodies this fusion and conflation of cultural history. While the structure and spirit of these works share essential similarities with Chinese calligraphy, they also focus on the material presence of bronze lines in which to create minimal, elegant forms rendering space and atmosphere. Western viewers might be immediately reminded of the attenuated or 'drawn forms in space' of sculptors such as Giacometti and David Smith when in fact Wang Xieda has been pursuing the realization of common human experience through the origin of language. His works do not simply reiterate the past but are reinterpretations of ancient expression, making them simultaneously contemporary and timeless.
Also on view are two sculptural works made from rattan and paper pulp that hang in mid air. These works are a further extension of the bronze Sages’ Sayings sculptures, but the rattan sculptures also consist of intangible elements in which to complete them: the use of light and shadow. To emphasize what might be considered a fourth-dimensional way of seeing, the shadows of the hanging sculptures are cast on a fine white sand in a defined area below, defining their stark contrast of positive and negative, dark and light, inside and outside, illusion and reality.
A selection of works on paper from 2000 and 2005 are also included in this exhibition. The works from 2005 are directly related to the sculptures, consisting of rice paper, rubbings, paper pulp, ink wash and silica gel mounted to canvas. The Ran series from 2000 (ink paintings on rice paper) are being exhibited for the very first time. In Chinese ran conveys the adverbial clause or syntax, such as so, hence, therefore, thus. The artist considers these ink paintings as primary works, executed simply and with an economy of means that would later lead him to the lyrical, visualized language of his sculptural works.
Wang Xieda, born in Fushun, Liaoning Province in 1968, and graduated from the Sculpture Department, China Academy of Art in 1996. He has been the subject of numerous solo exhibitions both home and abroad, such as 2010 Arte Chino, Wang Xieda Solo Exhibition, Cuba Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes, Havana, Cuba; 2010 “Wang Xieda”: Solo Exhibition, Institut Valencià d’Art Modern (IVAM), Spain; Sages' Sayings: Wang Xieda’s Art in Z-Art Center in Shanghai in 2009, and at the Shanghai Sculpture Space in 2008. During the past 10 years, Xieda’s work has been included in group exhibitions, such as 2011 SH Contemporary, Shanghai Exhibition Center, Shanghai, 2011; Korea-China Contemporary Art Exchange, Zaha Museum, Seoul, Korea, 2010; ARTOUR-O the MUST, Museo Nazionale Alinari della Fotografia, Museo Archeologico, Museo di Santa Maria Novella, Firenze, Italy. He lives and works in Shanghai.
展览名称《子曰》，关涉艺术家对古代中国象形和表意文字，及公元四世纪的中国书法的严谨研究。展览将展示王燮达的铸铜雕塑，水墨作品，以及最近的综合媒介 雕塑作品，从高处悬挂下来的雕塑呼应着墙上的水墨作品，从而创造出一个诗意的空间。此次展览是艺术家在James Cohan画廊的首次展览。
每个国家的文化传统与价值都会努力寻求当下的新语汇来完成艺术表达上的转换。于2002年开始创作的《子曰》系列雕塑作品，正是艺术家对于文化历史的融合 与归并的具体化的表达。这些雕塑作品与中国书法艺术有着深刻的内在联系，铸铜的材质，以其简约优美的线条与形式创造出独特的空间感与氛围。作品细长的、 “从空间中被拉伸”的线条，西方观众可能很容易联想到贾科梅蒂或是戴维•史密斯的作品；而事实上，王燮达是希望通过追溯语言的源头，努力去理解和传达人类 共同的审美经验。他的作品并非简单的重述过去，而是对古老表达的重新阐释，使之同时具有当代性与永恒性。
同时展出的还有两件由藤条、纸浆等综合材料创作的悬挂雕塑作品，这是对《子曰》铸铜雕塑系列更为深入的延伸。藤制雕塑包含了无形的元素：光与影的运用。我 们之所以强调这可能会被看作一种四维空间式的视觉体验，是因为作品的阴影投射在位于下方特定区域中的纯白细沙上面，表现出一种轮廓性的、质朴的对比：积极 与消极，昏暗与明亮，内与外，幻觉与现实。
另外，此次展览还将展出王燮达在2000年和2005年所创作的纸本作品。2005年的作品与雕塑有着直接的联系，材料有宣纸、拓、纸浆、水墨与硅胶。 《然》系列创作于2000年（宣纸水墨作品），此次是首次展出。在中文里，“然”通常连接状语从句或句法，具有转折与推进的意思，比如所以、由此、从而、 然而，等。这些充满书法线条感与水墨感的作品亦是艺术家在创作历程中逐渐转向抽象诗意的雕塑作品的开始。
王燮达1968年生于辽宁抚顺，1996年毕业于中国美术学院雕塑系，现工作与居住在上海。他在国内外举办过多次个人 展览。2010年，他在古巴国家美术馆举办《Arte Chino 王燮达个人作品展》，以及西班牙瓦伦西亚现代艺术馆举办《王燮达个人作品展》；2009年上海张江当代艺术馆举办《子曰•王燮达作品展》；2008年上海 雕塑艺术中心《子曰•王燮达雕塑作品展》。近10年以来，王燮达亦参加了许多国内外的群展，如2011年的上海艺术博览会国际当代艺术展；2010年在韩 国首尔Zaha美术馆举办的《色相怒放：2010年中韩当代艺术交流展》；意大利佛罗伦萨Museo Nazionale Alinari della Fotografia, Museo Archeologico, Museo di Santa Maria Novella等美术馆的《艺途》。
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