Honolulu Biennial at the museum

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    Zhan Wang (Chinese, b. 1962). 'Artificial Rock #133,' 2007. Stainless steel. Collection of Taiji and Naoko Terasaki and courtesy of Honolulu Biennial Foundation.

February 23, 2017 - May 15, 2017
Honolulu Museum of Art


Exhibition Overview

On February 23, a crane deposited Zhan Wang's 11-ton sculpture Artificial Rock #133 on the museum's front lawn. The work is part of the Honolulu Biennial: Middle of Now | Here, presented by Honolulu Biennial Foundation and The Howard Hughes Corporation, which is based at the former Sports Authority space in Ward Village and includes installations at locations throughout the city. 

Beijing-born Zhan Wang, one of China’s superstar Conceptual sculptors, has taken the fantastically eroded rocks revered by Chinese scholars since the eighth century and updated it for the 21st century by re-creating the scholar’s rock in an industrial medium—stainless steel. Artificial Rock #133 comprises the real rock alongside Zhan’s cast. The artist molds sheets of the metal around the surface of a traditional scholar’s rock (also known as “strange stone”), removes the sheets, welds them together, and burnishes the surface. Directly playing off the 17th-century scholar’s stone on view in our China Gallery, Zhan’s Artificial Rock #133 challenges us to think about tradition—and how our notions of it continues to evolve in the contemporary world.

Don’t miss this chance to see important art from Hawai‘i, the Pacific Islands, Asia, North America, Australia, and New Zealand from March 8 to May 8. The artists were selected by Biennial curatorial director Fumio Nanjo, director of Tokyo’s Mori Art Museum, and Biennial curator Ngahiraka Mason, former curator of Indigenous art at Maori Art at Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki.

Artist talk: Zhan Wang
March 9 • 4pm • Doris Duke Theatre • Free
Curator of Asian art Shawn Eichman moderates a talk with Zhan Wang about his art and practice.