Through visits to the Arctic, Biosphere 2, the Mayan Pyramids, and other geological, technological, and archaeological sites, Alice Wang investigates the uncanny dimensions of the natural world. Using metamorphic substances such as fossils, meteorites, moss, and heat, she combines scientific, technological, and mythical perspectives to see how materials found in nature can be understood to embody existential qualities. From the cosmic to the molecular, matter — like radiation leftover from the Big Bang, or wax secreted from bees — reveal certain underlying forces in nature. Working with byproducts of the metabolic process of the universe, the protean forms in sculpture, photography, and film travel between different timescales; the physical boundary of the work is not limited to its visible expression.
Alice Wang uses natural materials in her sculptural forms to reconfigure the notion of nature beyond our common sense perception of reality. Nature is not limited to the geocentric Newtonian world, but includes planets, black holes, electrons, protons, and other celestial and quantum entities. Exploring matter in scales endlessly vast, her research has recently shifted to the realm of the infinitesimally small to explore quantum machines, which use subatomic particles, or nature at its most fundamental level, to encode information and make calculations. The quantum computer bridges our classical world with the subatomic realm; like Wang’s sculptural work, it occupies a space between the real and the imaginary.
Alice Wang received her B.Sc. in Computer Science from the University of Toronto, BFA from the California Institute of the Arts, and MFA from New York University. She was a fellow at the Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne, a Villa Aurora fellow in Berlin, a recipient of several grants from the Canada Council for the Arts. Wang has presented solo exhibitions at the OCAT Museum in Xi’an, Capsule Shanghai, Human Resources (Los Angeles), 18th Street Arts Center; participated in group exhibitions, screenings, and performances at Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions, Armory Center for the Arts, Para Site, K11 Art Foundation (HK), Hammer Museum. She will be presenting solo exhibitions at the UCCA Dune Art Museum in fall 2023 and the Vincent Price Art Museum in spring 2024. She is an assistant professor at New York University Shanghai. Wang lives and works in Los Angeles and Shanghai.