Wang Jida and Jin Gao at National Art Museum of China (NAMOC), Beijing

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 Spacewith 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

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Fig 1

Fig 1

Fig 2

Fig 2

Fig 3 - Hidden Depths

Fig 3 – Hidden Depths


Bronze exhibition at The National Art Museum of China

I decided to visit the NAMOC a second time as I found it really interesting. I was really pleased I did as they had a bronze exhibition with a huge statue of a government official. Monumental in scale and painted white, to show innocence I believe. It was a really interesting show with a couple of western ‘nods’ as there were two bronze Statue of Liberties. I am going to get some of the show translated into English…




Oriental Pearl Tower, Shanghai

I decided to visit Shanghai on the bullet train as I wanted to see the architecture there. I had no idea when I arrived that it would be like Blade Runner or Fritz Lang’s Metropolis. It’s a totally immense place with 16 lane roads almost flying through skyscrapers all around. Getting a taxi from the futuristic, upside down art gallery (The China Art Museum), built for the Expo in 2010 was really exciting.

Behind the gallery is a UFO type building, the Mercedes Benz Arena. I really liked seeing that. It’s going to feature in some of my sculptures.

Whilst there I also went to Museum of Contemporary Art Shanghai which had a great Kusama show on.