Capsule Shanghai is pleased to participate in Liste Basel 2021, presenting Wang Haiyang’s solo project ‘Human, Beast, Ghost’.
Widely known for his multimedia animations unsettling viewers with unpredictable scenarios, Wang Haiyang (b. 1984 in Shandong, China) ventures with this project into a new pictorial challenge.
The works on show, realized between 2018-2020, comprise a series of watercolors on paper and a work on canvas.
‘Human, Beast, Ghost’ expands Wang’s investigation of existential topics by transferring them into a surreal, multi-dimensional hedonistic space of pink wall tiles recording a piece of Wang’s memories - a visit to a now-demolished gay sauna in Beijing.
The paperworks on show, realized between 2018-2019, portray a whimsical yet haunting collection of abstract creatures emerging out of watery splashes of color, exploring the chaotic associations between sexuality, social disorder, and spiritual intoxication. Scenes of revelry evolve in the face of disruption, the physical forms melting away as identities dissipate yet sexually coalesce.
As objects organically grow like cells or organs on limbs, both the space and the de-humanizing scenarios are unthinkable situations presented to the viewer, who is confronted with a fleshly array of bacchanal intercourses among deviating species that transcends any recognized taxonomy and any socially accepted genetic or evolutional norm.
Human, bestial and ghostlike creatures melt into each other, copulate, and set free again in his figurative work on canvas (Untitled, 2020), the first of a new masterfully executed series of acrylic paintings making its first debut at Liste. The work counterbalances the series of watercolors on show, by realistically portraying three characters laying on a black and white checkerboard flooring, surrounded by a post-apocalyptic landscape. Joining an intimate embrace, these androgynous figures transcend any strict definition of gender, race, or age; they are instead unified through corporeal and carnal affection, exposing Wang's wildly imaginative, implausible, and valiant idea of the creation of a new post-human race.