Shuyu Wang (王沭予, b. 1998, China) is a contemporary artist working out of London and Beijing. He completed his Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the Maryland Institute College of Art in 2021. He is currently pursuing a Master's degree in Sculpture at the prestigious Royal College of Art. His artworks have been exhibited on multiple occasions in both China and Europe.
Rooted in the tangible realm of existence, my artistic ethos navigates away from grandiloquent philosophical discourses, gravitating instead towards engaging with palpable social narratives and the intricate labyrinth of life's potentialities. Particularly during this era, steeped in materialistic obsessions, I aspire to utilize my artistry as a catalyst, fomenting social consciousness and active participation while also artistically responding to the prevailing and future challenges and contradictions intrinsic to society.
My artistic exploration navigates a fine line between abstraction and concreteness, striving to employ intuitive materials and forms that manifest my perspectives. This approach aims to facilitate an uncomplicated deconstruction of my creations by the general public, enhancing their accessibility and ease of interpretation.
"Snailman," examines the contemporary youth's perception of happiness in a fast paced and demanding society. It raises questions about the origin of happiness,
whether it stems from personal desires or external expectations. The work uses self deprecation, irony, and figurative imagery to critique the unhealthy state of existence
experienced by many young people today. The snail shell covered in gold leaf and
mirrors represents the influence of capital and the importance of self-reflection in
finding one's identity
Size:L: 96CM, W:40CM, H:65CM
Upon my initial engagement with "Shan Hai Jing", I found myself questioning the veracity of the creatures delineated within its pages. The origins and authorship of this text, however, have proven elusive to substantiate.
It's noteworthy that Western fairy tales often embody a latent theme - that humans must conform to divine will and align with the rhythm of natural progression. An exemplar would be the tale of Prometheus, who incurred Zeus' wrath for his audacious act of procuring fire for mankind. In stark contrast, Eastern narratives, particularly those emerging from ancient China and centralized around "Shan Hai Jing", espouse a candid articulation of human defiance. The characters within these stories challenge divinity and nature alike, contesting their predetermined fates. Kua Fu's arduous pursuit of the sun in a bid to alleviate global droughts, which culminated in his demise from fatigue after seven days and nights, epitomizes this.
In an era bereft of socio-economic development, individuals disregarded ecological principles in a heedless onslaught against their environment. Nuclear power plants were erected in the face of significant risks when electrical demand soared. Forests were decimated without restraint when timber was needed. The repercussions of such insubordinate acts against nature were largely disregarded. As the world teeters on the precipice of a destructive cycle, one must ponder the fate of our fauna over the course of millennia. Will they face extinction, adapt to their new habitats, or possibly undergo a metamorphosis into species hitherto unseen, reminiscent of mythical creatures?
Involution, characterized by escalating competitive intensity, has permeated the lives of the younger generation across many Asian nations, with its reach continually expanding. This phenomenon is particularly entrenched in China, where individuals are drawn into a relentless cycle of competition from birth, through academia, and into adulthood's economic pressures. The collective desire is to extricate ourselves from this confounding cycle, but societal norms and expectations often make this seem insurmountable. Upon graduation, we are beset by daunting financial obligations, including exorbitant dowry prices and long-term loans. The scarcity of medical resources for aging parents only compounds these pressures. These collective experiences form the constellation of our existence.
The relentless pace of this lifestyle may eventually erode our individuality and aspirations. It raises the question of whether we will ultimately yield to the pressures of involution, or whether we will succumb to the overwhelming societal currents and vanish into its depths.