Huang Yong Ping // Wael Shawky

Two exhibitions running in tandem featuring Paris-based, Chinese artist Huang Yong Ping and Egyptian artist Wael Shawky.

Huang Yong Ping is one of the leading Chinese artists of his generation. He moved to Paris in 1989 after participating in the renowned Magiciens de la Terre exhibition at Centre Pompidou that year, soon after the brutal suppression of the demonstrations in Tiananmen Square. Today he divides his time between studios in Paris and Fujian province in southern China.

Huang makes arresting – and often very large – sculptures. Many feature animals and architecture, in unexpected combinations. His sculptures act as allegories – they combine references that are topical and traditional, political and mythological. His work examines how cultures collide and transform as a result of massive political and economic forces – imperialism, for example, or rapid economic globalization.

World religions are a theme in his work. In this exhibition there are references to Islam, Buddhism and the Judeo–Christian tradition. They include a minaret from a mosque, and a terrifying Leviathan – or sea monster – from the Book of Job in the Old Testament. Seven Buddhas dangle on a fishing line in front of it.
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Wael Shawky's work explores transitional events in society, politics, culture and religion in the Arab World. These concerns have been brought into sharp focus by recent upheavals in Egypt. Shawky lives in Alexandria, Egypt’s second city. Al–Aqsa Park is a digital animation of the Dome of the Rock, the most recognisable monument in Jerusalem and a masterpiece of Islamic architecture that has great symbolic significance for all Muslims. The Old City in Jerusalem is where Judaism, Christianity and Islam converge.

Built between 689 and 691 AD on the site of a Jewish temple destroyed by the Romans, the Dome of the Rock has been contested throughout history, right up to the present day. The rock platform on which it stands is believed by Jewish scholars to be the probable location of the Holy of Holies, the most propitious place for prayer. It is also on the place where Sunni Muslims believe Mohammed ascended to heaven. The Crusaders turned it into a Church, Israel hoisted its flag over it during the Six Day War in 1967, and the second Intifada was sparked when Ariel Sharon, then leader of the Israeli Likud Party, paid it a provocative visit in 2000. The Dome of the Rock is now a familiar graffiti image of Palestinian resistance to Israeli domination.
Huang Yong Ping // Wael Shawky


Event Title: Huang Yong Ping // Wael Shawky
Postcode: Nottingham Contemporary, Weekday Cross, Nottingham, NG1 2GB
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