Landscape No. 1, 2011-2013. Wire, 1000 x 190 x 180 cm

Huang Zhen: Building the Image

On my recent travels to Beijing, I have looked for good young sculptors, but I have been mostly disappointed. A visit to the huge sculpture studio at the Central Academy of Fine Arts (CAFA), acknowledged as China’s best art school, convinced me of the technical skill of the students, who were working on a copy of a public memorial in Tiananmen Square, but they were pouring their energy and talent into a gigantic relief that had little to offer beyond a certain expertise in figuration. A small room off of the studio featured a show by half a dozen post-graduate students, whose representational work again demonstrated considerable finesse but lacked any kind of conceptual force. Indeed, in absurd fashion, the exhibition featured a selection of seemingly earnest Chinoiserie…see the entire article in the print version of May’s Sculpture magazine.