The Exiled Dissident Returns…
Wang Keping at UCCA
When compiling a list of works to be sent to the Central Government for approval prior to exiled artist Wang Keping’s exhibition, the Ullens Center for Contemporary Art (UCCA) – perhaps wisely – decided to remove ‘Silence’ (one of the wood sculptor’s most iconic pieces, depicting a man’s mouth jammed with a plug) lest the metaphorical plug be pulled on the entire event. And though the 50+ works on display won’t include any blatantly political motives, visitors will still gain a fascinating insight into the controversial artist’s 35-year career, even including some of his more erotic pieces focusing on organic and human forms.
Wang first gained notoriety after co-founding the artist group ‘Xingxing’ (The Stars) with 11 fellow nonconformists including Ai WeiWei and Ma Desheng, which debuted on 27 September 1979 with an unauthorised exhibition outside the National Art Museum of China and which was forcibly closed the following day. In 1984, Wang moved to France where he now works in a studio just outside Paris and famously lets wood sit for months, sometimes years, to allow its natural features to appear before carving. Good thing no waiting is needed for this exhibition – hop to it! On until January 4, 2014.