What is time and what is space? What is past and what is present? Those are just some of the concepts tackled by influential Chinese avant-garde artist Wang Jianwei, in his first-ever solo exhibition in North America. CCTV America’s Liling Tan entered his latest realm of conceptual art at the famed Guggenheim Museum in New York.
Chinese artist Wang Jianwei\'s exhibit well-recieved in NYC museumWhat is time and what is space? What is past and what is present? Those are just some of the concepts tackled by influential Chinese avant-garde artist Wang Jianwei, in his first-ever solo exhibition in North America. CCTV America's Liling Tan entered his latest realm of conceptual art at the famed Guggenheim Museum in New York.
At first glance, artist Wang Jianwei’s painting, which is in four parts, appears straightforward. But upon closer inspection, the panels which are adapted from a video scene are like overlapping stills from a movie sequence.
“A still image from a video becomes a still image from a painting that is actually moving through these different iteration. And what we then see, as well, is that each of the figures are repeated in the painting. So the lady on the right side of the left panel, she is being reiterated in the next panel,” Guggenheim Museum Curator Thomas Berghuis said.
In his first solo exhibition in the U.S, which runs through February at New York’s famed Guggenheim Museum, Wang’s “Time Temple” work celebrates ambiguity. In focus are the relationships between space and time, and the contrasts between realism and abstract, such as a magnified cell structure.
Apart from abstract hints at biology there’s also subtle allusion to physics such as, in the flow of the presentation, as well as the use of shadow and texture to highlight the relationship between time and space. But ultimately it’s the artist’s intention for viewers to experience these perspectives from their own unique points of view.
“He represents a particular intellect so a lot of people get to think about the meaning of contemporary art through his work,” Berghuis added.
Born in 1958 in China’s western Sichuan Province, Wang Jianwei is one of the country’s leading artists of the reform-era avant-garde movements. His first foray into the U.S art scene has been well-received, says exhibit curator Berghuis.
“The other response, I must say, which I pride this exhibition on as well, is that some of the younger visitors they say his work is just very cool,” he said.