Identity

2016
Brass, Red copper, Cast iron, Stainless steel, Concrete, Marble, Fiberglass
580 x 600 x 560 cm
Edition of 1

Standing at over six-metres tall, Identity is a spectacular, monumental work commissioned for exhibition A Beautiful Disorder in 2016. Its colourful and convoluted folds of layered brass, metal, wood and stone appear at once natural and organic, as well as alien – like a fantastical apparition of what plant life might look like on a distant planet. Despite its otherworldly appearance, Identity, as its title suggests, is actually a product of distinctly human ingenuity, technology and culture. Using 3D rendering and modelling software, Wang has converted one of the most iconic and influential texts in modern history – Karl Marx’s Capital: Critique of Political Economy (1867) – into a binary code that entirely determined the material, colour and structure of the sculptural outcome. The work thus not only alludes to the collapsing boundaries between art and technology, but also raises pertinent questions concerning the power of ideology in today’s hyper-networked, globalized world. How do we ‘read’ a work of art? What socio-economic, cultural, political and inter-subjective processes are at stake in the act of artistic appreciation, and how are they converted into a system of values? How have these systems been determined, and what do they stand for?

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About The Artist

Wang Yuyang is one of the most accomplished Chinese artists of his generation, whose multi-medial practice encompasses sculpture, painting, photography and video. At the heart of Wang’s oeuvre is the question of how technology – both cutting-edge and obsolete – affects and challenges our perception of everyday life. Many of his works incorporate modern technology, such as motors, lights and electricity, but reference traditional Chinese philosophy; both ancient, contemporary and historical. The use of modern analog technology is employed as a metaphor for China's philosophical history and its binary sensibility, which he describes as "on and off, black and white, something and nothing".

‘Identity’ is currently on display

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Wang Yuyang

Born: 1979

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Wang Yuyang