A Snapshot of Contemporary Figurative Chinese Sculpture
Although Chen Wenling first gained fame for his “Red Memory” sculptures, a series of oversized, riotously laughing young boys rendered in vibrant red lacquer, he’s since moved on to a darker body of work. Chen’s current sculptural practice centers on a cast of grotesque, perverse figures who cavort in sexual deviance and moral depravity. A stand-in for humankind’s impulses toward greed, gluttony, and sloth, pigs figure prominently in these works, the bloated, hybrid characters snarling, sodomizing, cannibalizing and the like. Chen’s satirical work draws from a range of influences, in particular the work of Auguste Rodin, Pablo Picasso, Salvador Dalí, and Fernando Botero. He cites the visceral reactions to the “unacceptability” of his work as its greatest power.
Chinese, b. 1969, Quanzhou, China, based in Anxi, China