Wu Liang Yan 
National Treasure- Propping Up the Universe (国宝—撑起一片天), 2015
Edition 2 of 30
Bronze
42 x 15 x 27 cm

USD 5,100.00

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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.
His figures are characterized with a red tie, which is part of every Chinese student's uniform. To him and many young artists growing up under the Communist regime, this also represents the expectations of society towards youths.


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