Slag Gallery is pleased to present “Natural Effect”, a new solo exhibition of Chinese artist Weixian Jiang.
In this new body of work, Weixian Jiang alludes to nature’s power and magnificence in its plenitude of manifestations. For “Natural Effect”, Jiang transforms bronze into elemental shapes reminiscent of towering Chinese mountain landscapes, billowing deep-sea volcanic pyres, ghostly bonsai trees, and simple plants grasping up towards the sky. Using bronze casts of found antique planting pots as bases, this body of work calls into question the long tradition of Chinese decorum while transplanting the original appreciation for nature’s forms into a contemporary setting.
To create these mysterious constructions, Jiang has developed a “water-casting” technique. Jiang first uses hot wax within a pot, slowly and deliberately submerging it whole in a large basin of water. As the wax rises up through the water, it creates unpredictable and organic shapes; the most inspiring configurations are then selected to be casted in bronze with their respective traditional pots. The brilliant colors these sculptures bear are the result of a careful burning process, using a blowtorch to “scorch” the pigment onto the bronze.
The elemental sculptures of Chinese artist Weixian Jiang transform stark industrial material such as bronze, cement, or ceramic into forms reminiscent of their organic origins of ore, sediment, and clay – bringing new life to a nearly forgotten past state of nature. Jiang is best known to use a blend of traditional and modern techniques such as hand forged iron, welding, weaving, “snow casting” - a technique achieved by pouring molten wax or plaster in a deep layer of snow, and “water casting” - using water instead of snow -. Jiang's instinctual process creates a seamless harmony between the organic and manufactured material. To him, it is important to allow pieces to form and inform themselves as he works, in this manner creating the most natural process of sculpting.
Weixian Jiang holds an MFA from New York Studio School, Sculpture Section and a BA from Tianjin Academy of Arts, Tianjin China.