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Sculpture (MA)

Rong Bao

Artist Bio

Rong Bao (b.1997, China) is an artist who is currently based in London completing her MA in Sculpture at the Royal College of Art. She used to study Public Sculpture at the China Academy of Art and received her BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago after being awarded the Distinguished Scholarship. On 2022 summer, she finished a PhD Summer School about Commoning Curatorial and Artistic Education at Zurich University of the Arts.

In 2022, Rong Bao was awarded the Top 10 of China UCCA Lab x Perrier New Emergency Artist and got into UK New Contemporaries 2022 Shortlist. In 2017 she was awarded First Prize at China (Hui’an) International Public Sculpture Creation Camp. 

Rong’s work has been shown in exhibitions all around the world, including ‘Up in the Air”, Spurs Gallery, Beijing (2023); Hung, Drawn &Quartered’, Standpoint Gallery (Residency), London(2023); ’EXPO CHICAGO 2022’, Navy Pier, Chicago (2022); “Metamorphosis of Rhythm,” Himalayas Museum, Shanghai (2022); "ReA! Art Fair”, Via Ruggero Boscovich, Milan (2022); “Muddy Mudlarks”, Candid Arts Trust, London(2022); Art Nova 100 10th Anniversary Exhibition’, Guardian Art Center, Beijing (2020); ‘Art Bash 2019’ , Site Gallery, Chicago (2019), etc. Rong was also invited as a visiting tutor to provide art workshops and 1v1 tutorials for the University of Westminster Mixed Media department and also as a guest artist to hold an art event for ‘Walkative Society’ in early 2022. As a group leader, her project “Design for Non-Human Kinds, Toys for Elephants” was interviewed by NBC News in 2019.

Degree Details

School of Arts & HumanitiesSculpture (MA)RCA2023 at Truman Brewery

Truman Brewery, F Block, Ground, first and second floors

statement image

Rong Bao's art is a playful yet provocative exploration of deviation, defamiliarization, futility, interaction, and mischievousness. Through her use of a variety of materials, she creates works that challenge our perceptions of the world around us.

At the heart of Rong's art is a sense of deviance, a willingness to push against the boundaries of what is considered acceptable. Her works often take familiar objects and transform them in unexpected ways, creating a sense of defamiliarization that encourages viewers to question their preconceptions. Her works often feature playful yet futile gestures, inviting viewers to engage with them in a way that emphasizes the absurdity of our attempts to impose order on the world.

Interaction is a key component of Rong's art. She creates works that are meant to be experienced, inviting viewers to touch, play, and engage with them in a physical way. This sense of interaction creates a sense of mischievousness, encouraging viewers to participate in the playful yet subversive world she has created.

Overall, Rong's art is a celebration of deviation and defamiliarization, a recognition of the futility of our attempts to control the world, and an invitation to engage with the world in a playful yet meaningful way. Her works encourage us to question our preconceptions, to see the world in a new light, and to embrace the mischievous spirit that lies within us all.

Enigma 4
Enigma 5
Enigma 5
Enigma 5
Enigma 5


The artwork "The Enigma" incorporates the concept of pneumatic architecture by using an inflatable ballonet model to create a complex, interconnected structure composed of intertwined tubes. The sculpture stands at four meters tall and is divided into two layers, with the outer layer being transparent white and the inner tubes being pink. It resembles an organ, a womb, or some kind of entangled organism or worm. The top of the sculpture also features yellow ropes extending downwards, almost touching the ground. As the sculpture moves slowly, these ropes undulate like snakes, adding a layer of organic movement to the sculpture and conveying a sense of life and energy.


Pvc fabric, tube


Sketch: Work in Process.

Alien Rhapsody: A Cross-Dimensional Dance in the Cosmic Playground

Perhaps, from the boundless cosmic tapestry, a novel and surrealistic force is emerging. Manifested as alien life, dwelling in a complex cross-dimensional space, these entities challenge our entrenched understanding of reality, teeming with absurdity and grotesque elements. Each alien bounce, compression, and deformation resonates like a self-composed symphony, akin to life's spores preparing for eventual bloom, with tension precipitating from cyclical energy accumulation.

As mere observers on the fringe of this microcosm, we're but interlopers from an external domain, our significance humbly marginalized. This outlook subverts our deep-seated anthropocentrism, emphasizing the humbling reality: we're merely part of the cosmic life wheel, not soloists, but members of a grand cosmic chorus. Our perception is not of ordinary life forms, but life's fierce struggle on the brink of existence, challenging all conceivable boundaries.






The art installation features a 60-degree zigzag climbing transporter and a cardboard box marked "fragile." The climbing transporter continuously drags the box upwards, but due to its construction and weight, the box falls back to its original position. This creates a repetitive motion that is both hypnotic and unnerving. As the box falls, it produces a sound similar to the shattering of glass, adding to the tension and fragility of the work.

The piece reflects on the futility of human efforts and the inevitability of failure. The use of the "fragile" label and the sound of breaking glass serve as a joke about the system's limitations and fragility. By creating an experience that is both unsettling and captivating, the artist encourages the viewer to confront their own vulnerability and the futility of the societal system around them. The work invites contemplation on the paradox of effort and the acceptance of impermanence.


Box, Glass, Transportation Machine


walk home image
The journey started on my doorstep in London and continued on to the end of my home in Beijing.
walk home
This work was selected for the Spurs Gallery exhibition "Up in the air" and participated in Beijing 798 Gallery Weekend.
Special thanks to Feng Qing, Zhang Donghui, Li Mengyuan, Chen Yuhao, Chen Anbin, Liao Haigiong, Sha Qi, Huang Hongbo, Li Ying and You Jianging for their support to this project.

Rong Bao's Walk Home Project

From the outbreak of the epidemic in 2020 until the end of 2023, Bao Rong was unable to return home once during the three years she lived abroad due to national control policies and flight restrictions. In this work, Bao Rong uses Google Maps and Baidu Maps Street View images to walk from her home in London to her home in Beijing.

To see the full version of the work, please contact the artist Rong Bao. 

good luck
good luck
good luck 2
good luck
Exhibition documentation from 'The Fading Spaciousness', OXO Bargehouse Gallery, 2023

Good Luck

This is a project inspired by Chinese traditional superstition about threshold-you have to step over the threshold instead of stepping on or touching it to get luck in Feng Shui. This Installation by trapping people in a panopticon prison and forcing people to repeat the gesture of stepping over an invisible threshold, and while people didn't lift their legs to the standard height to step over successfully, the monitor will alarm and say ‘Good luck’ to ironic those kinds of discipline in the daily behavior. I intend to discuss the invisible disciplines and invisible power structure in our culture and society through a reenacting of traditional superstition in a modern way.


Wood, Arduino, speaker



Drifting Water

In this project, I travel through America, Europe and Asia as an Asian woman completing a closed loop of Asian-led circulation. The four locations chosen for the cycle correspond to the four large scale water systems of rivers, lakes and oceans that span the continents of Europe, Asia and America and represent the places where I have lived.

I carried a 100ml bottle of water from one area and pour it into the next, brought water from Thames pour into Lake Michigan, Lake Michigan water into the Pacific, Pacific water into the Mediterranean, and at the end, brought Mediterranean water back into the Thames, which it turns to a closed water circulation loop. These sources of water would have been integrated as one, but it is our artificial distinction in structure. In this way, I want to rethink the way in which institutionalised structures encapsulate us as an abstract image. An identity that should not have been easily defined.


Thames River Water, Lake Michigan Water, Pacific Ocean Water, Mediterranean Sea Water




In this installation, the artist transforms her long black hair into barbed wire and hangs it across a doorway at a height of 157cm, the artist's own height as a petite woman. Anybody taller than this must bow down in order to pass through the doorway. The artist reverses the rules and standards of a patriarchal society and exposes the invisible violence within it. 

Inspired by the protests in Iran where women are cutting their hair as a form of resistance against oppressive societal standards, the artist addresses the teasing and joking she experienced while growing up due to her small stature, particularly by taller boys. The work invites viewers to consider the ways in which societal standards and expectations can be oppressive and to reflect on their own privilege and biases.


Rong Bao's hair



Tooth and teeth

“Casting my teeth to give a dead animal bone alive.”

This is a jaw bone I discovered on the Thames riverbank. Inside this Mammal Jaw Bone, there are two missing teeth. My tooth, by chance, fits exactly in the gap. To produce them as a whole, I inserted my tooth's casting into the jaw bone. Humans in the Post-Human era use technology to borrow organs from animals in order to extend their lives. The successful transplantation of a pig heart indicates the success of a medical technique that revolves around the theme of human neutrality. I aim to flatter people in this discourse by implanting my teeth into a dead animal bone, decentralize humans, and obscure and even provoke the barrier between humans and the environment. I contributed to this piece of content. In this content, I am the contributor.


Animal jaw bone found in River Thames, foam clay casting from Rong Bao's teeth, resin


Exhibition documentation at the Standpoint Gallery 'Hung Drawn and Quartered'.


Wood, arduino, plastic toys


strike picture


The inspiration for the work came from the giant bell-ringing hammers of Buddhist temples, which I replaced with a soft material made of cotton and fiber by replacing the original hard, giant logs with a 2-meter-long cylinder made of sacks suspended in mid-air by two chains, half-bent and dangling like a weak male sexual organ. This is a work that requires the audience's participation to complete. 

I put a recording button at one end of the soft bell hammer to record the sound of the temple bell. When the viewer shakes the limp hammer and slams it against the wall, the recording button emits the original recorded bell sound. In this piece, I first softened the original hard hammer so that when a soft pillow hit the wall, it should not make a sound, but at the same time, due to the recording button I put in advance, it made the sound of the bell when it should not. 


Metal chain, burlap fiber, red silk, cotton, sound talking button



China Good Parents Scholarships by Zhihai and Donghui

Many thanks to my sponsors Zhihai and Donghui for their financial support.