Chinese, b. 1962
Lives and works in Beijing, China
Zhan Wang is an important representative figure of Chinese contemporary art in the international art scene, working in sculpture, photography, and multimedia installations.
His series of stainless steel Artificial Rocks, begun in 1995, has garnered international acclaim and has been collected by institutions around the world. These works are based on an object symbolic of China’s past, the scholar’s rock, which was traditionally collected by the literati and placed in courtyards or other sites of private contemplation, such as studies. Zhan Wang’s stainless steel reinterpretations of this form draw attention to China’s shifting value systems and the reconstruction of its urban centers. These highly reflective works not only utilize the ubiquitous building material of his native country, but also reflect in a mirror-like fashion the rapid urbanization of modern-day China and its ongoing realignment with the natural world. These works are made through a painstaking handcrafted process for which the artist received a patent in 2002.
A prominent and well-respected figure in his native China and beyond, Zhan Wang’s work has been widely exhibited at institutions internationally, including the Asian Art Museum, San Francisco, CA; Milwaukee Art Museum, WI; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA; Albright-Knox Gallery, Buffalo, NY; Kunstmuseum, Berlin, Germany; Fukuoka Asian Art Museum, Japan; Mori Art Museum, Tokyo, Japan; and Ullens Center for Contemporary Art, Beijing, China. Selected collections that have acquired his work include the British Museum, London, U.K.; Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY; the de Young Museum, San Francisco, CA; the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA; and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, CA. His works have been featured in many important international biennials and triennials including Venice, Shanghai, Singapore and Guangzhou. Zhan Wang’s work is included in The Allure of Matter, a major upcoming group exhibition that will travel to the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art, CA; Smart Museum of Art, University of Chicago, IL; Seattle Art Museum, WA; and the Peabody Essex Museum, Salem, MA.