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A dark toned painting that uses lines to create geometric compositions
From Artist, Wang Guangle
Wang IG
Wang Guangle, 180620, 2018. Acrylic on canvas, 110 1/4 x 70 7/8 inches (280 x 180 cm). © Wang Guangle, courtesy Pace Gallery.
Wang Guangle Photoby Sailan Zhou 2023
Wang Guangle. Photo: Sailan Zhou

Artist Chat with the artist Wang Guangle.

Welcome to Artist Chats, where we chat with artists from the Hill Collection. Today, a conversation with Wang Guangle.

Hill Art Foundation: The Hill Art Foundation champions artistic dialogue across mediums, styles, and time periods. Who is an artist—especially one you might not be immediately associated with—who inspires your work?

Wang Guangle: I think it was Joseph Boyce’s concept of “social sculpture” that gave me the greatest inspiration. On the one hand, this concept tells me that art can be done without having to associate it with any art form or style in the history of art, and it gives me great liberation in form; On the other hand, it refers to the relationship between art and society – when using political, economic, and scientific means to transform society, people will also be sculpted by these means to change this passive relationship, which is art.

HAF: A Dark Hymn explores the process of collecting. Do you collect? What kind of work are you drawn to?

WG: When I was a child, I collected many cigarette boxes. At that time, I actively searched for them, which affected my homework. In the end, they were destroyed by my mother. Now it seems that those cigarette boxes are just used to occupy a drawer, and I want to use them to declare that drawer is mine, that’s my space. Now I have some collections that I have accumulated unintentionally over the years, and the process of collecting them is passive. I have never sought to collect anything but have encountered them. Whether active or passive, I believe that collecting is about a collector creating their own space. So far, I have collected some works from young photography artists that have made me very happy.

HAF: The Hill Art Foundation’s Teen Curators and Educators wrote the wall label text to accompany works in A Dark Hymn. Can you tell us about a learning experience from your childhood or teenage years that has informed your creative practice? 

WG: When I first started sketching, if one drawing didn’t go smoothly, I would switch to another one. This way, I quickly accumulated a lot of works. Once when I put them together to watch, I found that they only depict the differences in the objects, without any improvement in the level of painting. Afterwards, I decided to continue drawing on only one piece of paper. Although I didn’t know what would end a work, I always had a new experience through my best efforts. Until now, my work habit is still to paint until I am satisfied. I still think that a painting is not good because it is not finished.

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