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Wang Qiang

Optical Games In A Limited Freedom: Eleonora Battiston

“Who's Afraid of Red, Yellow and Blue?”

If we take into analyses the paintings of the series Limited Freedom, we could place Wang Qiang among those few artists that undertake a rigid geometrical abstraction. Already within the title, the artist reclaims the concept of freedom that, also in the West between the beginning of the Twentieth Century and the end of the Second World War, had ratified the birth of Abstractism. Abstractism, as a universal language, is in fact free from any kind of ties with reality and from any attempts with figuration. Wang Qiang, as abstracters did in their times, deprives painting of the realism bestowing it with the faculty of the word and turning it into a tool to express the subjectivity of the artist and a place for the visual immersion of the spectator.

In the Athens of the IV B.C, Platone had already written something about painting: "for what concern the beauty of the shapes, I don't think about what most people could imagine, for example beautiful painted bodies. I rather mean the straight line or the circle, the plane and solid figures, designed with the ruler and the SQUADRA. I believe these figures are themselves very beautiful, because they transmit a particular pleasure".

Complex architectures emerge from the polystyrene to create intricate buildings behind whose slants and niches are placed, hidden, small figures...
Eleonora Battiston

But what kind of pleasure could we ever find in the mess of colors and in the overlapping of lines? The artist refuses to give the spectator interpretational hints and his canvases become just a simple pretext for contemplation because, as Leonardo in the Fifth Century pointed out, "messy and indefinite things stimulate the spirit to new inventions". Hence, the meditative quality conferred by a meticulously maniacal geometry is undoubted!

The figurative "emptiness" of Wang Qiang's canvases confers full scope to the feelings and emotions of the observer who carries out a somewhat mystical submersion in the colors letting his retina being confused by the chromatic cheats and optical games created by the lines.These works enclose the intrinsic value of recalling only themselves just like the masterpieces of the Op Art (Optical Art) anticipated in the Thirties by Victor Vasarely. Through the linear variations (vertical, horizontal and diagonal) and the contrasts of colors, he experiments the effects of optical stimulation and the false impression of movement that has been created.

However, for which reason is this "freedom""limited"? Only approaching the canvases, we can comprehend the mock and amusement of these artworks: the patterns are prefixed and they already exist, and the newly painted part is only partial. The canvases are already colored and printed with the lines and motifs of which, only in some portion of the space, the artist inverts and upsets the direction, creating with the brush geometries of geometries and making these labyrinths even more complex.

Illusions and mirages recall to the structures of a computer or to the trajectories of a video game to which the artist confers a three-dimensional form with his installations. Complex architectures emerge from the polystyrene to create intricate buildings behind whose slants and niches are placed, hidden, small figures: animals, characters of comics and strange beings that seem to be part of a different universe. It seems a futuristic and science fictional scenery, a world inspired by cartoons that once again submerge the viewer in a surreal dimension deprived of time and space.

Born in Jiangsu Province, China
Graduated in Xiamen University
Lives and Works in Nanjing

Solo Exhibition

Creative Realms, Red Gate Gallery, Beijing
Optical Games in a Limited Freedom, Marella Gallery, Beijing

Group Exhibitions

Red Gate Launch Pad - Celebrating 10 Years of Artists in Residence, Red Gate Gallery, Beijing
Nanjing Biennale, Jiangsu Provincial Art Museum
China International Gallery Exposition, Beijing

China· China, Milan Art Museum
Paradise Lost, Fun Art Space, Beijing
ShContemporary, Shanghai
Fractal Image, Nanjing Museum
Fancy Dream, Marella Gallery, Beijing
Fancy Dream, Marella Gallery, Milan
Three – Year Exhibition of Chinese Art, Nanjing Museum
Double Imagination, Shenghua Art Center, Nanjing
Digital City, Melbourne
Time, Space, and Me, Xiamen University Sino-Euro Art Center
Cement, Chambers Fine Art, New York
New Urbanism, Guangdong Art Museum
Daydream, Nanjing Museum
W & G Art Pair, Sanmi Gallery, Nanjing
Traces of Time, Nanjing
Close and Far Away, Nanjing
Human Beings and Animals, Qingliangshan Park, Nanjing
Ideas and Concepts, Shanghai
Orientation and Meanings, Nanjing
First International Exhibition of Chinese Installation Art, Hong Kong
2000 – 1, Nanjing Normal University
Modern City and Contemporary Art, Jiangsu Art Museum

My recent work is about a return to nature, which takes the form of a couple of fruit trees or a mountain. I feel that only by being in nature will one feel extremely peaceful; where one can find a serenity that emanates from the inner self. It is a place free of slogans and there is nothing to fathom. By returning to this boundless inner sanctum, one can access a life force. Perhaps it is just that for me? I feel closer to myself as I channel this internal energy into my painting.

Wang Qiang



10 am - 6 pm, Tuesday - Sunday
798 Art District,
No. 2 Jiuxianqiao Road,
Chaoyang District, Beijing, China
Beijing International Post Office
Box No. 9039,
Beijing, China 100600
(+86 10) 5762 3032
[email protected]
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