• Mixed clay and water in the glass
  • Clay piled up on a wooden bench
  • Exhibition installation
  • Exhibition installation
  • Exhibition installation
  • One cubic meter of clay is shaped and ready to be pushed over


2014.11.13 - 2015.01.17

Artist(s):Wang Sishun

In The First Dawn, Wang Sishun adopts clays as his only material in this exhibition. From the separation of clay and water in a glass, to a cubic meter of clay falling from the a few meters in the air, issues such as distance and force, time and space that the artist has always been exploring are shown as the immaterial elements. Clay, may remind the viewers of his background in sculpture, however the method it has been adopted contrasts with the education he has receive. The artist places clay in various possible environment and context to produce new sculpture/installation, in attempt to construct another malleable space. 

Wang Sishun, born in 1979, Wuhan, Hubei Province, graduated from the Sculpture Department of Hubei Art Academy in 2005, and received a M.A. in 2008 from the Sculpture Department of the Central Academy of Fine Art, is now living and working in Beijing.  

The First Dawn is the title of an artwork in this exhibition. According to an ancient Greek philosopher, the world was one at the beginning, as various elements come into being, it started to separate, the birds could not rest in the sky, beasts survived on the earth by attacking each other, then came the suffering and hatred. I mix mud and water in a glass of a certain ratio. At the beginning, it’s muddy. Then, it starts to saturate and separate, and naturally reveals an order, that becomes clear. That is a world. 

I remember once I was playing dice with some friends in a bar, after I was drunk, I felt the dice became soft and debilitated in the containers, neither could I feel my body and shape. This must have been the inspiration for another work in this exhibition – I made a cube with mud weighing nearly 2 tons, and push it down from the second floor of the space to the ground, and let it smash into pieces. This is the first part of the artwork. Then, I would cast the pieces in copper, to provide it with a new power of imagination.

There are also artworks made with clay on a bench at some wall corners. When I pressed the clay onto a wall corner, if it did not fall off, that is the moment it becomes an artwork. If that moment has no meaning, then its process and history would also be meaningless. And the clay sculpture on the bench does not have a particular composition, as the viewer sits next it would establish certain relationship, it is related to the distance in between, like two people standing next to each other, even no verbal exchange is establish, other forms of communication is nevertheless taking place. 

Clay sculptures as a basic material in this exhibition perhaps has little to do with my training in sculpture, and my working approach also differs from sculptures made in the past. The directions of the artworks are different, while the consistency of the material would make the exhibition seems more organic and holistic. In this exhibition, distance and direct power construct a new malleable space, and the process in which they are created becomes a critical element. 

By Wang Sishun

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