Chinese artist Wang Xieda poses between his sculptures ‘Sages’s Saying 013’ (L) and ‘Sages’s Saying 058′ (R) at an exhibition on his work organized by the Valencian Institute of Modern Art (IVAM) in Valencia, Spain, 27 July 2010. The exhibition, that was inaugurated today and can be seen until 29 August, shows 12 sculptures and 14 drawings of the Chinese artist for the first time in Europe. EPA/MANUEL BRUQUE.
VALENCIA.- The exhibition presents for the first time in a European museum this artist’s work brings together 12 sculptures and 14 drawings Xieda Wang’s calligraphy, Chinese artist who combines in his works the influence of calligraphy in the Eastern tradition and contemporary currents of Western art .
This is the first exhibition of the Chinese artist Wang Xieda in an European museum. It consists of 14 drawings and 12 sculptures that shows his artistic production. This production allows us to appreciate the expressiveness of the artist who moves away from figurative tradition and from the limits of the traditional artistic structures. His work conceptually goes into new sculptural techniques. Wang Xieda’s work combines classical techniques using ink and paper from the traditional calligraphic arts with an sculptural abstraction reminiscent of western avant-garde.
The catalogue published on the occasion of the exhibition shows the exhibited works and publishes texts about the artist written by Consuelo Císcar, the IVAM’s director, by the director of the Z-Art, Centre of Shanghai, Gong Yunbiao and by the exhibition’s curator Li Xu. It also includes a chronological biography of the artist.
Wang Xieda (Liaoning, China 1968) is an atypical sculptor who exhibits his drawings and large works made with rice paper and charcoal on canvas. His bronze moulds can remind western spectators of the attenuated and “drawn” forms in the space of Giacometti and David Smith. However, Wang Xieda’s sculpture derives, as it is said, from Wang Xizhi, the calligraphic master of the fourth century. The transformation of the two-dimensional works into three-dimensional ones is analogue to the use of his own drawings that have 1.2 meters height. Those works are the starting point of his smaller sculptures: abstract representation of bulls, birds and human figures. They are also a vivid reminder of the fact that the drawings can provide a closer and more intimate perspective of the artist’s thoughts and sometimes, it can be an opportunity to approach the unconsciousness.
In the last twenty years, Wang Xieda, who lives and works in Shanghai, has been devoted to the study of text and calligraphy. The artist isn’t just an admirer of the ancient China, but an admirer of all the ancient civilizations of the world. After years of studying, he realized that many of the pictograms of the first human civilizations were similar. Pictograms were the common way to represent the nature synthesizing the abstract forms in simple metaphors. Lines are the communication language and the more basic and effective way of dissemination taking into account all the visual forms. Chinese characters, a kind of hieroglyphics’ extension used during the human civilization, are still used today. Former Chinese characters began crystallizing during the Banpo phase 6000 years ago. The first textual system totally completed appeared in the Chinese history during the Shang Dinasty in the fourteenth century BC. Like in some other ancient civilizations, the original characters were based on representations of natural images. That leads to a theory about the traditional Chinese art which ensures that painting and calligraphy have the same origin.
Wang Xieda’s recent works show an old style and an elegant pace, reminiscent of the aesthetic origins of the ancient civilizations. His sculptures and paintings create concise and unforeseeable moulds by using simple lines. Wang explores an abstract and purely aesthetic feeling through these visual forms, as for example with primitive totems and the first calligraphic symbols. He perfectly controls the harmony of the dimensions while creating a suitable space. A lot of spectators fall in love with Xieda’s works due to the fact that spectators and author simultaneously see the eternal beauty of concision.
In contrast to the changes of the twenty-first century, cultural and national traditions should find a new and contemporary language in order not to get out of time regarding the aesthetic expressions. This is the only way for younger people to study and inherit the traditions voluntarily. As an artist, Wang Xieda has looked for a common artistic and human experience. His efforts aren’t intended to repeat the past but to use the simplicity and extent of the ancient art in order to recreate it. What makes his art contemporary and timeless is the clear interpretation of the ancient language with the current syntax that he uses to express his experiences and feelings. We can see a natural and serene confidence in Wang Xieda’s works even in difficult and variable environments, exemplified by his competent expression of the national aesthetic. This exhibition that takes place at the IVAM is the first individual exhibition of Wang Xieda out of his country. We hope that the work will be appreciated and understood by western spectators.