National Treasure- Propping Up the Universe (国宝—撑起一片天), 2015
Bronze, 42 x 15 x 27 cm
About the artwork
Wu Liang Yan’s distinctive cherubic style of depicting children is often contrasted with situations and compositions that cross into those far beyond their age or expected capabilities, exposing the darker, less reflected on sides of society that have taken over modern existence. In National Treasure- Popped Up The Universe, the viewer is shown a yet another innocent child- chubby, half dressed and eyes closed in seeming blissful ignorance. However, he holds above him a cloud, while standing upon a rock- as if carefully balancing on one while holding the other stable; Such a serious implication of holding up the heavens while rooted to earth makes the child seem out of place- as if such a task is not for one so young and innocent. Both cloud and mountain are powerful symbols in Chinese culture, symbolizing a quest for peace and convene with nature. They may also signify the material world and that of dream, ambitions and imagination. The child shown between both then brings to mind an entrapment- as if he is caught in the middle of either, not fully able to step either way. Society’s expectations and pressures ground him and yet, being a child, his mind lies in the world of flights of fancy- where he is unable to live out his childhood in peace. This is the tragedy of today’s youth, in the eyes of Wu Liang Yan.
About the artist
Born in 1982, Fujian Province, China, sculptor Wu Liang Yan creates sculptures representing the new face of Chinese youth. In all his works, the same figure is used - a young child with plump cheeks, bearing a disproportionately large head that is tilted upwards, with a red tie around his neck. Each part of the child's form is laden with meaning in the context of China's history and progression. Wu Liang Yan graduated from the prestigious Fujian Art Institute. Today, his critically acclaimed sculptures have been exhibited in both group and solo exhibitions in Xiamen, Beijing and France.Go to Wu Liang Yan's profile ›