Art Basel in Basel 2017
VIP Preview: 2017. 06.13 – 14
Public Days: 2017.06.15 – 18
Exhibition Venue: Art Basel in Basel, Hall 2
Magician Space is pleased to present Wang Shang’s solo exhibition in Statements Section at Hall 2, Booth N1.
Wang Shang (b.1984, Beijing) is an artist and certified gemologist, whose work often explore the commonalities shared between the fields of geology, natural history, and human civilisation.
For Statements, Wang Shang presents new series of sculpture, based on recurring motifs found in traditional Chinese gardens and landscape paintings – forms often used to embody and symbolise a state of ‘harmony’ between humanity and nature. Within the context of today’s discussion between technology and nature, Wang Shang brings to our attention the symbols of mountains and scholar rocks. A classical and pervasive theme in the East, nature is often idealised as a higher, truthful state of being. Seeking to rupture this narrative, the artist moves away from a depiction of mountains typically found within traditional ink landscapes, riffing on these motifs with ersatz sculptural versions using high-resolution images of marble surfaces. The surface of these 3D forms undergo further digital alteration with layers of colour and pattern, which are transposed onto abstract stainless steel shapes that resemble rocks and mountains. The surfaces together function as a geological palimpsest, acting to record a chaotic flux of colliding natural events, whilst also incorporating visible influences of human technological intervention.
Displayed on the floor are sculptures, consisting of multiple representations of rock and stone. Recalling shapes produced when minerals grow out from one another into crystalline structures – each ‘scholar rock’ will merge various aesthetic languages together into one unified form. By freely associating different languages of human culture to clash with the natural world, Wang Shang moves the rock garden away from a transcendental space of meditation into a zone of contested meanings that crash together. A light whimsical tone permeates across the celebratory garden-like setting within the art fair. It is an approach to the world that is quixotic, playing with inherited perceptions of the East, but also connecting more broadly towards the contradictions that lay rooted within our ideals of culture and technological progression.