Zhan Wang (Chinese, b. 1962); Urban Landscape, 2003; stainless steel, garden rocks, pots, pans, eating utensils, mirror, dry ice machine. Copy Right Holder: the artist, 2006. Installation view of Universal Experience: Art, Life and the Tourist's Eye Hayward Gallery. Photo by Stephen White. Pekin Fine Arts. x1200

Zhan Wang: Urban Landscape

June 17, 2006 - December 3, 2006

The Williams College Museum of Art (WCMA) proudly presents Bejing-based sculptor Zhan Wang’s Urban Landscape. Expect the unexpected with this on-site installation. The extravagantly-detailed miniaturized city is constructed using stainless steel pots, pans, forks, serving platters, tea pots, and other ordinary household utensils. Zhan Wang: Urban Landscape will be on view at WCMA beginning June 17, 2006. WCMA’s Summer Party on July 15 at 5:00 pm will highlight this exhibition and three others currently on view. All are invited to attend.

In Urban Landscape, Zhan Wang takes everyday objects and assembles them in a way that de-familiarizes them, creating an effect that stuns the senses. The fabricated metropolis is flanked by Wang’s famous stainless steel rock sculptures and illuminated from above, evoking a surreal, mesmerizing glow. Although the effects are dazzling, the statement is somber. Disenchanted with the relentless urban demolition of China’s cities, Wang seeks to conjure the memories of what has been destroyed in China and what these cities perhaps still stand to lose.

Artist Statement

“As someone who has lived all his life in Beijing, I have seen this regime demolishing non-stop. They don’t let you choose a place and make it special and meaningful; sooner or later, they will take it down. By trying to reach a level of western-oriented modernization, we are destroying the continuity of our own tradition.”

– Zhan Wang

Zhan Wang attended Beijing Industrial Arts College from 1978–1981 and also the Central Academy of Fine Arts from 1983–1988. He currently works as a Professor of Sculpture at the Central Academy of Fine Arts in Beijing while also creating and exhibiting new works. He is perhaps most famous for his stainless steel rock sculptures and his pieces are represented in art collections all over the world. Zhan Wang has participated in numerous exhibitions, the most recent of which were Transience: Chinese Experimental Art at the End of the Twentieth Century at the Smart Museum of Art, University of Chicago (1999) and Universal Experience: Art, Life and the Tourist’s Eye at the MCA in Chicago (2005).

Related Events

A gallery talk on this exhibition, given by WCMA’s director, Lisa Corrin, is scheduled for June 27 at 2:00 pm. WCMA’s Summer Party will be held on July 15 from 5:00 to 6:30 pm at the museum. The party will celebrate the museum’s four summer exhibitions, including: Jackson Pollock at Williams College: A Tribute to Kirk Varnedoe ’67; Jacqueline Humphries: New Work; Zhan Wang: Urban Landscape; and Rhoda Holmes Nicholls. These events are free and open to the public.