WANG KEPING (Chinese, B. 1949)
WANG KEPING (Chinese, B. 1949)


WANG KEPING (Chinese, B. 1949)
signed and dated in Chinese; signed ' WK' (engraved at the bottom of the left side)
wood sculpture
45 x 34 x 27 cm. (17 3/4 x 13 3/8 x 10 5/8 in.)
Executed in 1988
Private Collection, Asia
Galerie Grand Siecle, Wang Keping: Star recollection: Portfolio, Taipei, Taiwan, 2007 (illustrated, p. 94).
Taipei, Taiwan, Galerie Grand Siècle, Simple, Reduced, Light: Wang Keping Solo Exhibition, 10-30 November 2006.
Sale room notice
Please note that there are additional literature details for Lot 282.

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Lot Essay

Wang Keping is one of the most outspoken and prominent non-conformist artists of The Stars group in China. Best recognised as sculptor, his notorious portrait of Mao Idol shown at the 1979's The Stars Exhibition encapsulates the commotion and the intense sense of rebellion against the then political situation that is at the core of Wang's practice as an artist. After The Stars group dissolved, like many avant-garde Chinese artists, Wang moved to France in 1984, in search of more artistic freedom that couldn't be had in China at the time. Since then his works have moved away from overt political commentary and begin instead to resonate more with the self-reflection and philosophical thinking of the artist. Wang Keping's wooden sculptures after 1980s embody a simplified organic form with smooth features that accentuate the characteristic of wood. Double (Lot 281) seems to carves bulbous buttocks that conveys a sensual representation of the female body. Fairy (Lot 282) depicts human- like form with opened arms or wings, as stoical and as delicately abstracted, as is Totem, serving as an idiosyncratic, of ten venerated emblem. In The Lovers (Lot 283), two opposing yet balanced twin forms are hugging, reflecting and absorbing the energy of their counterpart. It seems to manifest the regenerative spirit of Yin and Yang evocative of Taichi elements in Eastern philosophy. He lets the grains of wood guide him as he unveils the inner beauty that inspires him to sculpt. Wang's sculpture does not however rest in a simple primitivist aesthetic; he ventures deeper into more philosophical perspective, demonstrating the flexibility of Chinese literati practice across time and genre. Through his unique visual language Wang successfully modernizes the Chinese literati tradition from an intangible thinking into a gestural and physical form, yet his works invite the viewer to re-connect with and reconsider his place in the natural world.

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