The artist Wang Shaojun has a solid foundation in shaping representational sculpture, and he unifies the shaping of image and spiritual expression, embodying the artist’s reflection on the relationships between the self, society and nature, and absorbing the fun of “freehand” of the traditional Chinese painting with his sculptures, Fan Di’an, President of the Central Academy of Fine Arts has reviewed that his creation is the “New Literati State” of sculptures. “It’s Me” is a case study of Wang Shaojun, that explores the artistic creation and value of self, as well as mapping the relationship between society and nature. On September 29, 2017, the exhibition “It’s Me” opened in the Meilun Art Museum in Changsha. It is co-sponsored by the Central Academy of Fine Arts and Hunan Fine Arts Publishing House, planned by Yue Jieqiong, Director of Collaborative Innovation Office of the Central Academy of Fine Arts, and feature more than 300 works including sculptures, jade, porcelain, seals, watercolors and sketches. It is also the second show following the show of Taoxichuan Art Museum of Jingdezhen.
“The Bald Man Dressing in a Green Shirt” is the representative image of Wang Shaojun’s sculptural works, and the artist gave it an unique name: Jue Er, which has a slightly ridiculous meaning in Beijing’s slang. The image is like an actor, playing a variety of different roles in Wang Shaojun’s creation, to really perform all beings of the world. He is not a real image in a specific society, but he might be anyone surrounding us, where we can find our own shadows. As Wang Shaojun’s says “Jue Er” seems to be his rare discovery of artistic creation in the past ten years, but he believes that this image inevitably appears, rather than a fabrication, it solidifies the image of creative desire in the course of the artists’experience of the changing times. The exhibition is entitled “It’s Me”, which is an interpretation of the image of “Jue Er”, and also puts forward a major social proposition: the shaping and confirmation of “I”.
How do the works of art concern a variety of dimensions including the contemporary creative individuals, the audience and the community, which is a proposition that the artist continues to explore, “Jue Er” is a form and approach for Wang Shaojun to achieve his artistic value, and the “role” involves walking through a variety of dimensions including history, culture, and reality, passing artistic energy, thinking of some problems in the current reality, and trying to offer the possibility of a solution. Along with the community that rapidly develops, the communication becomes more and more convenient, and material and spiritual energy is also very rich, while people’s relationship is also very cold, and people hardly ever have a sincere smile for each other when they are encountered. People are trapped in anxiety and ignorance with the rapid development, and the phenomenon of moral landslides often happens. It is the ignorance of the real self, while Wang Shaojun surprisingly finds that art can reflect a person’s inner mind, what is mind? He answers that it is a reality. It is not an academic concept, but people feel it is so esoteric, and the social progressive development needs reality as the basic condition, although there are many problems with reality, it is not a problem if we sincerely face it. On this level, the artist also gave “Jue Er” a footnote: Hero of Life. Each of us is an ordinary individual, as long as we sincerely face ourselves, face the community, we are also great heroes, and this hero is not shaped through the stage, screen or ideology but really exists in life, and everyone can become a hero of life.
Therefore, the artist creates works and holds exhibitions in order to have a dialogue and exchange through his works and exhibitions, passing a kind of energy rather than finishing a batch of works and a show. Introspection is the best way to shape and confirm “I”, whether it is a sculpture or a paper work, “Jue Er” has never separately existed in Wang’s creation, but exists in another image with a visual form or the form of metaphor, which is his way of introspection, while the existence of another “self” of the work prompts him to be true to self. At the same time, the artist also hopes that the exhibition offers a field of sincere exchange and communication, so it specifically held the night at the art museum activity entitled “Everyone is Jue Er” on the evening of the opening day, the artist through the live event and network offered a sincere communication with the audience, to encourage everyone to be a real hero of life, and become their own Jue Er.
As a case study, Wang Shaojun once again expands the channel for the art to communicate with the public and society. The exhibition remains on view in Changsha till October 22.
Text by Zhang Wenzhi, translated by Chen Peihua and edited by Sue/CAFA ART INFO
Photo by Zhang Wenzhi & He Yifan (Propaganda Department of the Central Academy of Fine Arts)