My Art Guides | Q&A with Artist Wang Haiyang

Cristina Sanchez-Kozyreva, My Art Guides, November 11, 2018

Showing at Capsule gallery until December 25th, Wang Haiyang's (b. 1984) partly grave, partly comical solo show, features three complementary chapters.

Visitors are greeted by a room with a video where a wig and black covered character on heels dances frenetically in a background resembling the inside of the large intestine (with an anus in the backdrop). In another room, a series of pastels on paper feature furry men, women and intersex people, scary and attractive at once. More videos and stunningly freudian watercolours drawing from the sexual unconscious, desire and memory, pack a punch for an overall bold and vulnerable shows about the human condition through the particular vision of this one artist.

On the occasion of his show, our representative in Shanghai Cristina Sanchez-Kozyreva met Wang Haiyang to share some comments with us on his state of mind as a creator.


Cristina Sanchez-Kozyreva: Please introduce yourself. What where your most important career moments? I understand that your recent long stay in the hospital was decisive, and keeps influencing your work?
Wang Haiyang: My name is Haiyang Wang, I am an artist from Shandong, and I graduated from CAFA (Central Academy of Fine Arts) in 2008. A turn point in my career was definitely my solo at UCCA in the New Directions section in 2016. After this show, my whole work took a "new direction". Additionally, I underwent four surgeries on my legs over the past two years to fix a physical condition and they have also been affecting my lifestyle significantly. Besides my practice, I suddenly felt life is so short. I became more fearless.
CSK: What is your show at Capsule gallery about, and how did it come together?
WH: I am presenting a short film called "The City of Dionysus" [in which the video narrates the artist's real memory of an old lady who remained dead in her apartment for a long time before her worm-filled body was discovered] paired with some drawings, which appear in the video in an animated version. There is also a video installation called "Party in the Anus" [where a farcically gender-fluid costumed wo/man party-dances in a looped video]. In the central room of the gallery, an installation mixes different media (video and paintings), and is called "Skins" [the video features an unidentifiable tube-shaped object emerging, like poop, from an agitated pile of hairs. The pastels on paper feature hair-covered men and women]. It is difficult to describe what this show is about, but I purposely created a loose narrative which people might find hard to digest. I want the exhibition to leave the viewers uncomfortable, I want them to be attracted to explore an unsettling space and to be repelled at the same time by a strange power which comes as unexpected and unfamiliar.
CSK: How is life in Shanghai compared to Beijing where you based your studio?
WH: The two cities are very different. Living in Shanghai is more comfortable than living inBeijing. I feel that living in Beijing under a bigger pressure allows me to create artworks that reflect better my personality, and showing these works in an environment like Shanghai has created a very interesting contrast.