Skip to main content
Contemporary Art Practice (MA)

Haining Wang

Haining Wang is an artist born in the U.S. and raised in China. She received a B.A. from Yale University in Ethics, Politics, and Economics and is pursuing an MA at the Royal College of Art in Contemporary Art Practice. She previously worked in investment banking at Morgan Stanley and private equity investing at Temasek International in Hong Kong and Beijing.

Departing from her experience in the finance industry, Haining’s work considers the politics of corporate life and social hierarchy in the context of global capitalism. Lately, she is working with silicone to create glove-like casts of the outer surfaces of cosmetic products, exploring notions of loss, preservation, and consumerist desire.

Portrait of the artist standing in black, wearing one of her stainless steel body works.

In my recent work, I explore the cyclical mechanism of desire and dejection that capitalism perpetuates. I think about surfaces – organic and artificial – membranes that regulate physical contact and hold the entities together and keep them apart. What do the surface areas of contact look like? What happens when we preserve the shape of an instant of touch and give it materiality? What passes through and what gets filtered out? I think about the bodies that are absent beneath the surfaces and the shedded skin / transformed shapes that get left behind.

Row of 4 cosmetic bottles in thin translucent silicone skin casts. In purple.
Row of 3 groups of 2-4 bottles in nude, orange, and light purple.
4 groups of bottles of various shapes and sizes, in purple, pink, nude, light orange. arranged in two rows.
Pink bottle cast connected to puddle of silicone skin on a plinth.
Purple bottle cast on a plinth.

Behind the excessive consumption and production of beauty / cosmetic products lurks an anxiety to preserve. Creams, gels, serums are layered onto the skin – a daily ritual in resistance to the passage of time.

A proliferation of humanoid miniatures as mass-produced shelf-top commodities. Empty vessels act as relics of today that will soon grow obsolete and irreproducible. The multiplication of their plastic armors. Muted rubber inflatables. Skins that serve as gloves to sheath and protect. Lying limp or standing precariously, the object is absent and a shell remains. 




Dimensions variable
Haribo gummy candies cast in silicone, gallium, wax, and plaster

Candy is one of our first biophysical experiences of the reflex of provocation and craving. Children are quickly conditioned to adopt these deeply desirable commodities into a syntax of exchange value. I have reproduced the Haribo gummies with inedible but alluring materials, transforming them into irresistible choking hazards.  


Gallium, wax, plaster, silicone


Dimensions variable
Installation view of the stainless steel work suspended from ceiling using fishwire
Stainless steel surface pieces of a male body lying limp

The artist performs a ritualistic embrace with a lover while covered in paint, thereby creating an imprint of one body on another which traces the shape and surface area of the moment of contact.

The imprint is then 3D scanned and fabricated in stainless steel – a material cold and rigid, a permanent monument to the temporary act of bodily colonization.

Pressure affects the surface area and power dynamics underlie every act of physical intimacy. The title of the work refers to the surface area calculated from the 3D scan of the embrace - a quantification of interpersonal connection.


Stainless steel


130 x 80 x 60 cm
A black acrylic sheet cut in the shape of the China and USA maps overlapped to create an ambiguous shape.

Overlap of the maps of the two global superpowers – a cartographic Rorschach test for the subconscious interpretation of impending geopolitical collision. 


Acrylic sheet


63 x 40 x 0.5 cm
3d printed PLA model of Rodin's "The Kiss" sculpture cut in half where the two lovers' bodies touch, separating them.
Another view of the sculpture
Another view of the sculpture from behind

The surface area of contact between the lovers of Rodin’s "The Kiss" is traced and revealed as the two damned lovers are abruptly torn apart, frozen in a voided embrace. 




Approx. 25 x 20 x 22 cm

Well-constructed bureaucratic hierarchies are the engines of efficiency that support an organization. Political philosophers debate the contents of the social contract and grant varying degrees of control to the Leviathan. In the private sphere, wherein lies the legitimacy of this delegated authority, and what are its limits and extents?  

On an individual level, the supervisors’ power varies depending on political alliances, psychological dispositions and interpersonal dynamics. The subject is thus able to negotiate and shape their sphere of rights. In this work, the limp form on the floor hides its covert activities from surveillance by setting up the regular mechanical whirring of the robot vacuum inside it. Its soothing predictability distracts from the absurd futility of cleaning the inside of a garbage bag.

The supervising garbage bag hovers around jerkily on top of another robot vacuum. The flat female voice of the artist counts down to the hide and seek game and issues reassurances to the heap that it is nearby and watching closely.  


Garbage bags, wood frames, robot vacuums


1080p single channel video, Installation size 70 x 75 x 70 cm
Wall of plexiglass boxes in multi-colored arrangement, in the form of an excel table. bodies of birds and feathers lie inside.

Facing the infinite rows and columns of the excel grid on my computer screen, I think of containers, compartments, blocks, joined together into walls and facades, making up the glossy, megalithic glass and steel structures that emblematize the power of private corporations. I think of ascending the building floors in pursuit of a capitalist fantasy. I think of the millions of birds that kill themselves colliding into the mirrored surfaces of skyscrapers, and how they spend their final seconds glaring at their own reflections. Or of Narcissus transfixed by the pool. I think of the Tyrell Corp. glass pyramid. And of scooping the moon from water. I think of a thin balance, an invisible wall, stained plexiglass, bricks of water, drowning birds, a plastic morgue, condensation, and wet bodies.

Close-up view
Close-up view.
Side-view of installation.


Plexiglass boxes, artificial birds and feathers, water


140 x 180 x 12 cm