Wang Jida and Jin Gao at National Art Museum of China (NAMOC), Beijing
Walking into the NAMOC is interesting in itself, the huge building is opposite the main art shops in Beijing (Fig. 1 & 2). Mostly all of which sell busts and heads for the art students in China to draw and to sculpt from. Extremely interesting to look at and reminiscent of the hallways in Royal Academy Schools.
Wang Jida and Jin Gao, married and worked together in New York and Inner Mongolia. I never realised how focused on bronze sculpture they were and seeing their works in the NAMOC totally amazed me. The sheer variety of pieces, some highly polished others painted and on vast scale, like the statue of Zhou Enlai and Chen Yi (both important and respected political figures credited with helping form The Peoples Republic of China) . It is a similar statue to this that they created in 1977 of Mao that now stands in the Memorial Hall in Tiananmen Square.
The dynamism of some sculptures were similar to Boccioni’s ‘Unique Forms of Continuity in Space’with their very free-flowing and elegant slender accentuations of the body. Radical when compared to the busts and elements of faces that are seen in the artshops across the road. The stainless piece they created is simply titled The Circle but has extremely interesting curvaceous lines, almost like an Art Nouveau sculpture or inspired by Hector Guimard, who created the Metropolitan entrances in Paris.
My own work draws from the influences of the East where I create almost unexplained and strange forms in bronze too, like in “Hidden Depths”(Fig 3). I patinate (accelerating a chemical process to alter the appearance of the metal) the bronze in deep luscious greens to accentuate the colours and folds in the bronze, making it seem like it could have been dragged from the depths of the ocean or fallen out of Space.
Figure 1: Outside of the National Art Museum of China, looking across to the Art Shops.
Figure 2: Inside Chinese art shop in central Beijing
Figure 3: “Hidden Depths, Patinated bronze by Alex J Wood 2014