Wu Shaoxiang 吴少湘 (b. 1957)

A pioneer in the modern abstract sculpture movement in China, Wu Shaoxiang is known for spearheading the incorporation of Western abstract forms into his oeuvre. Wu Shaoxiang was born in Jiangxi in 1957. Following the Cultural Revolution, he studied sculpture at the Jingdezhen Ceramics Institute and later moved to Beijing where he became actively involved in the '85 Movement. There he was awarded the first Beijing Art and Design Scholarship and completed a postgraduate degree at the Central Academy of Arts and Design. His earlier works exhibited elements of Western sculptural styles, due in part to his admiration for the geometrical forms favored by Brancusi and Henry Moore. The round and sensuous shapes lent Shaoxiang's forms a more sexualized language, setting him apart from his more conservative counterparts in China. 
 In 1989 Wu Shaoxiang immigrated to Austria, where he continued to blend East and West in his works while attempting to convey more social messages by examining consumerism and the detrimental effects of globalization. Since the 1990's Wu has relied mainly on the use of forms and symbols to convey his message. It is his experimentation with banknotes and coins that represents his artistic breakthrough into mainstream recognition. He used coins to reconstruct Eastern and Western monumental sculpture, such as Venus and the Buddha, and banknotes to make up the bodies of Giacometti-like human figures. Both our public monuments and the currency we exchange in a capital system are accredited value by the consumer (be it the "viewer" or the "buyer"), and are thus bestowed with a conflicting sense of simple aesthetic pleasure versus concrete buying-power. It is this talent to capture conflict and artistic irony within the sculptural medium that has earned Wu Xiaoxiang recognition and acclaim on the international art stage. He has held numerous exhibitions in China, Taiwan, Indonesia, Austria, Germany, Switzerland, Sweden and Hong Kong.
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