Born in 1982, Fujian Province, China, sculptor Wu Liang Yan creates sculptures representing the new face of Chinese youth. In all his works, the same figure is used - a young child with plump cheeks, bearing a disproportionately large head that is tilted upwards, with a red tie around his neck. Each part of the child's form is laden with meaning in the context of China's history and progression. Wu Liang Yan graduated from the prestigious Fujian Art Institute. Today, his critically acclaimed sculptures have been exhibited in both group and solo exhibitions in Xiamen, Beijing and France.
Wu Liang Yan's figures are characterized with a red tie which is part of every Chinese student's uniform. To Wu and many young artists growing up under the Communist regime, this also represents the expectations of society towards youths. Constantly looking upwards with a beaming smile, the figures in Wu's sculptures reflect an insatiable desire for affirmation from authorities.
Employing the techniques of exaggeration and satire, Wu seeks to highlight social problems that stem from the overly-competitive societies in today's world. The chubby cheeks of the boy in Wu's subject matter are symbolic of the inflated desires that youths today possess. The head of the boy is exaggerated compared to the rest of his body, reflective of the emotional and physical burdens which youths today carry as a result of striving for what society pressures him or her to achieve. Such burdens are disproportionate to what a child of his age is expected to bear. This form of exaggeration also signifies the disparity between people's expectations - what they want versus what they can physically achieve, resulting in a continual state of confusion and insecurity. A star is placed underneath each sculpture, rendering the overall composition of the boy to be that of a trophy prize that a parent can bring home and display to others.
Nonetheless, with closed eyes and a slight smile, Wu's subject matter seems to revel in the environment he is in. He is an achiever and the model youth that his country and parents expect him to be. Yet, his face also shows a glint of idealism - the desire to achieve what he wants for himself, against all odds.
On Paper: Supreme, Qindao Tiantai Art Center, China
Jichi 2D Visual Art Exhibition, the Lotus Park, Beijing, China
Lifestyle& Art/ Xiamen Art Festival, Fujian, China
“Sculpture and Installation Exhibition” Songzhuang Art Festival, China
“Creative Future”: the First Xiamen Fashion Art Festival, Fujian, China
“Baimiao Scheme”, Baimiao Village, Beijing, China
“The Thousands of the World: Contemporary Art Show”, Xiamen, China
“Art/ Home: Contemporary Art Show”, Xiamen, China
China International Museum Art EXPO, Beijing, China
“The Young Leaders”, Xiaobaoyizhan Art Space, Songzhuang, China
“Surrealist Pop”, Sanxitang, Tianjin, China
Towards Progress, Ode To Art, Singapore
“EXIT LA CELESTE: Contemporary Sculpture Exhibition”, Beijing, China
Solo Exhibition: "Upwards," Beijing 798, China
China Contemporary Art Exhibition: "Histoire Recente," France
China's Driving Force: The Yearbook of China International Sculpture Exhibition, Beijing, China
China-Korea Arts Exchange Exhibition, Beijing, China
"The Survival of the Scene" Contemporary Art Exhibition, Shangshang International Museum of Art, Beijing, China
The 1st Songzhuang Youth Artists Exhibion, Beijing, China
"Sculpture Party": The First Songzhuang Sculpture Communication Exhibition, Beijing, China
The Power of Life, Beijing, China
Black International Documentary Art Exhibition, Beijing, China
"Made in Songzhuang," Beijing, China
The Fourth International World Chorus Festival V1 Arts Exhibition, Xiamen, China
Gulangyu Island Intenational Contemporary Carving Museum Works Exhibition, Xiamen, China
The Eighth International Character Carving Outdoor Exhibition, Xiamen, China
The First Pop Culture Contemporary Character Carving Art Exhibition of Fujian Province, Quanzhou, China
The First Character Carving Art Exhibition, Xiamen