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Zhan Wang (simplified Chinese: 展望, pinyin: Zhǎn Wàng) is a noted contemporary Chinese sculptor.

Born in 1962 in Beijing, China, Wang entered the Central Academy of the Arts as a sculpture major in 1983.

"Zhan Wang's career as an iconoclast began with In a Twinkling (1993), an installation of superrealist figurative sculptures. The figures' style was not new, but the method of installation was: after creating a group of figures in poses of arrested movement, he propped them in unlikely positions outside a building, creating a surrealistic vision of a world gone awry," wrote Britta Erickson in Art Journal.[1]

His style concentrates primarily on abstract forms, which he calls floating stones. These are large, highly textured rock-like pieces coated in chrome. They are also called mountain or scholar's rocks.[2] Wang refers to the series, which he began creating in 1995, as Artificial Jiashanshi.[1]

Wang has applied a similar technique to meteorites.[1]

In 2004, Zhan scaled Mount Everest and placed one of his own sculptures at the summit.[3] He created a large outdoor sculpture for The DeYoung Museum in San Francisco that was unveiled in 2005.[4]

For his "On Gold Mountain" exhibition at the Asian Art Museum, located in San Francisco, in 2008, used rocks selected from the foothills of the Sierra Nevada to create his sculptures, "alluding to the nineteenth-century Chinese immigrant experience of mining gold during the California gold rush. Both the actual rocks and their stainless steel versions will be exhibited," according to the museum. He also created as city-scape of San Francisco using all steel items, such as rocks, mirrored surfaces, silverware, and stainless steel pots and pans.[2]

"'Artificial Rock #99' (2006), like a number of other pieces on view, brings to mind the more abstract work of Henry Moore (1898-1986) or even Barbara Hepworth (1903-1975). But the mirror finish of Wang's rock sculptures gives them a mercurial, shape-shifting look that brings them closer than Moore ever came to the sort of indeterminate form the surrealists wanted. Closer also to the hood ornament look of boastful luxury that Jeff Koons seeks when he casts work in stainless steel," wrote The San Francisco Chronicle's Kenneth Baker in a review of the exhibit. "To underline the oddity of these contradictory qualities, and the colliding histories they evoke, Wang has a traditional wooden stand fabricated for each of his table-top rock pieces."


1. ^ a b c Erickson, Britta. Material Illusion: Adrift with the Conceptual Sculptor Zhan Wang, Art Journal, Summer 2001.
2. ^ a b Zhan Wang
3. ^ Article about the ascent of Everest: [1] (Chinese)
4. ^ Zhan Wang's mercurial monuments


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