White Space Art Asia | Artist

Liu Ruo Wang 刘若望

Liu Ruo Wang 刘若望

The themes of Liu Ruowang’s sculptures are heroic, from the warriors in the East is Red series to the Heavenly Soldiers, they express a newfound pride with the history and destiny of the Chinese people. The heroic figures in Liu Ruowang’s sculptures do not depict famous historical personalities. Instead through the poise, simple dressing and humble equipment, they are very much understandable and approachable ordinary people. Indeed, in many of the Chinese classics, heroes are ordinary people who rise to the occasion. Liu Ruowang works primarily with bronze, and the earthy tones and colours he uses is reminiscent of old Chinese sculptures unearthed from archaeological sites. In particular, the Tai Chi series and the Heavenly soldiers series are reminiscent of the terracotta warriors of the Emperor Qin Shihuang.

Liu Ruo Wang 刘若望

1977 Born in Jia county, Shanxi Province
2005 Graduated from the Central Academy of Fine Arts, Beijing with a Masters Degree
Currently residing in Beijing as a professional artist

Notable Collections:

“The East is Red Series”
Awarded and collected at CAFA “Light of the Academy” Excellent Works Exhibition
Collected by Taiwan Bada Art Gallery
Collected by Beijing Now Gallery
Collected by Singapore New Art Center
Collected by Hong Kong Qiaofu Group
Collected by Taiwan Lianju Real Estate Company
Collected in Paris, France
Collected in Florence,Italy
Collected by Nanjing Art Institute
“People Series”
Collected by New Art Center of Singapore
Collected by Bund No.1 of Singapore
Collected by Beijing 1949
Collected by Dongchong Art Museum of South Korea
“Guards of Honor”
Collected by China Modern Art Foundation
“Heavenly Troops Series”
Collected by Beijing 1949
Collected by Dingfeng Art Gallery of Beijng
Collected by Huayi Brothers Media Group
Collected by Institutions and individuals from Hong Kong, Taiwan, France, Singapore, the Unites States, South Korea and Beijing
“Wolves Coming”
Collected by The Hills Golf Club of New Zealand
Collected by Qiaofu Group of Hong Kong
“Lofty Mountains and Flowing Water Series”
Collected by Beijing 1949 Jinbao Street
Collected by individuals from the United States, France and Taiwan
Award winner at China National Art Museum
“Heritage Series”
Collected by New Art Center of Singapore
Collected by Qiaofu Group of Hong Kong

Liu Ruowang grew up in a small village in rural Shanxi. During his childhood, his village did not have electricity and the basics of adequate food and warmth was still a problem. One of the great joys of his childhood was listening to his grandfather tell stories. His grandfather was a learned man, and under his influence, Liu Ruowang grew up with the great Chinese classics – in particular the fantastically heroic ‘Romance of the Three Kingdoms’, ‘Journey to the West’ and ‘Outlaws of the Marsh’. As a child, he worshipped the heroes of these stories and he made countless paintings of Guan Yu, The Monkey King, Lu Zhishen and other prominent heroes. His childhood was not one of all gloom and hardship; it was also fuelled by imagination and dreams.

As Liu Ruowang grew up and attended classes in school, he struggled with art – he could only gain a superficial knowledge of Western art, and could not satisfactorily grow and expand on these techniques. Whilst he could not escape his childhood influences and fantasies, as he matured he could not escape a sense that his work was childish and naïve.

His move to Beijing was the crack in the door that allowed him to, literally, spy on a bigger world. Here at the nation’s capital, he started to see a bigger, cosmopolitan world. For the first time, he was able to access important events happening around the world and to experience the triumphs and tragedy of the Chinese people on a world stage. Overnight, the world had become much more convoluted and complex.

This coming of age together with the childhood impressions of heroic romanticism from the Chinese classics has been a key influence on his sculptures. The themes fof Liu Ruowang’s sculptures are heroic, from the warriors in the East is Red series to the Heavenly Soldiers. It is interesting to note that the heroic figures in Liu Ruowang’s sculptures are ordinary people and not famous historical personalities. Indeed, in many of the Chinese classics, heroes are ordinary people who rise to the occasion – heroes rise in times of crisis.

One of the hallmarks of sculptures is that as a medium, it occupies the space between stasis and motion. This tension defines the state of the sculpture, thereby realizing its tremendous expressive force. In his recent series, he has utilized this concept to good effect. The recent Wolves Are Coming series is an epic pack of larger-than-life wolves. At a recent exhibition, Liu arrayed over a hundred wolves ringing a lone warrior brandishing a sword (from his Tai Chi series). A set of wolves have also been collected by a golf course in New Zealand where they make a dramatic sight silhouetted against the hills and charging downhill in a pack.

Another series, The Primates is a set of 36 enormous primates cast in blackened bronze, each standing over three feet tall and weighing in at over a ton. This series is being prepared for a major exhibition at the National Museum of Beijing at Tiananmen square.

Solo Exhibitions

2016 “CREATURES by Ruowang”The overseas tour exhibitions of Liu Ruowang’s works of art. Germany—NordArt Germany
2016 “CREATURES by Ruowang” The overseas tour exhibitions of Liu Ruowang’s works of art. Beijing—Giri Beijing International Art Zone
2015 “Wolves Coming?” dialogue? the mourning of Christ? Venice Biennale—Access Naples Cultural Classic “Wolves Coming?” dialogue with ?Kritik der reinen Vernunft?of Immanuel Kant ——University of Turin
2014 “Heaven and Earth of the Loess”solo exhibition China federation of literature and art
2014 “The original sin”solo exhibition Changchun
2014 “From Human to Ape” – Liu RuoWang’s Sculptures Solo Exhibition–Beijing 798 Art Zone, 3 Street,Honyo Art Center
2013 South Korea Cultural Exchange Exhibition Liu Ruowang solo exhibition – The South Korean parliament
2012 “Wolves Coming!” – Liu RuoWang’s Sculptures Exhibition – New Zealand Queenstown
2011 “Lofty Mountains and Flowing Water”Liu RuoWang’s Themed Suclptures Solo Exhibition – Century Jinyuan Yansha Museum, Beijing
2009 Burdened – Liu RuoWang’s Sculptures Solo Exhibition—49 Gallery, Beijing
2009 Humanist Appeal – Liu RuoWang’s Sculptures—Xingyi Gallery, Singapore
2009 Humanist Appeal – Liu RuoWang’s Sculptures—Bund No. 1, Singapore
2008 “Inquiries of Hevean”- Liu RuoWang’s Sculptures Solo Exhibition—Beijing No.1 Place Art Mansion
2008 “The World”- Liu RuoWang Themed Sculpture Solo Exhition—Loft3 Art Gallery, Beijing 798 Art District
2007 “Korea High East Art Museum – Liu RuoWang Solo Exhibition—Seoul, Korea
2007 “The East is Red”-Liu Ruowang Solo Exhibition–Singapore Heng Artland(Beijing)
2006 “People Series II” – Liu Ruowang Solo Exhibition –Beijing 798 District
2005 “People Series I” – Liu Ruowang Solo Exhibition –Taiwan Bada Gallery(Beijing)

Group Exhibitions

2012 “Professors’ Way”·Group Exhibition of Research Associates and Professors from the Sculpture Branch of China National Art Institute——Beijing China National Art Institute Museum
2012 The 12th National Millitary Art Exhibition——China National Art Museum, award winner
2011 Invitational Exhibition of China National Art Institute——Guozhong Art Museum, Songzhuang, Beijing
2011 “Daybreak”-30th Anniversary Exhibition of China National Art Institute——China National Art Museum
2010 “Lofty Mountains and Flowing Water” – Liu RuoWang’s Sculptures Exhibition—Guanyintang Art Museum, Beijing
2010 “Majestic Momentum”- China Invitational Exhibition of Modern Sculptures——China Millennium Monument
2010 “Wolves Coming?” – 2010 Liu RuoWang’s Sculptures Exhibition —798 Originality Square,Dingfeng Art Space
2009 The May 4th Young Artists Exhibition-Hongwan Art Museum Exhibition Tour, Asia Art Center·
2009 “I Can Believe” – Beijing Fanxing Art Museum Invitational Exhibition—Beijing Fanxing Art Museum
2009 “China Motive Power”-2009 China International Sculpture Almanac Exhibition?CISAE?—Beijing International Sculpture Art District
2009 Sino-Korea Art Exchange Exhibition – Collision -Exhibition of Liu RuoWang’s Artworks
2008 “Floating” Sino-Korea Modern Art Exhibition along with Dingfeng Art Space Opening Exhibition—Dingfeng Art Space, Beijing 798 Art District
2008 2008 Asia Modern Art Exhibition —Singapore Art Museum
2008 798 Art Festival “Loft Outdoor Sculptures Show”— Dashanzi 798 ArtDistrict, Beijing
2008 “Future Sky”- China Contemporary Young Artists Nominational Exhibition” —China National Art Museum
2008 “Uproar of the Populace” – the 4th Songzhuang Art Festival Public Sculpture Exhibition —Songzhuang, Beijing
2008 Reply to “Asia”- Midland Invitational Exhibition of Modern Art——Henan Art Museum
2008 “China’s Stance” 1st China Sculptures Grand Exhbition——Exhibition tour to Xiamen, Beijing, Shanghai, and other cities
2008 “2007 China Documentary Exhibition of Contemporary Art” Themed Exhibition—Beijing Gehua Art Center
2007 “2007 Open Exhibition of Modern Sculptures” —Beijing Exhibition Center
2007 “Pictures of Yesterday Exhibition”—Beijng Sal Tree Flower Center
2006 “Art Beijing”- China Agricultural Exhibition Center
2005 “Survival Space-Behavioral Structure-Art Exhibition”—Beijing Guanghua International CBD Art Avenue
2005 “Peace and Prosperity-Grand Sculptures Exhibition”—Beijing Wangfujing Pedestrians’ Street
2005 “Yellow Sky, Deep Soil- Grand Sculptures Exhibition”—China Millennium Monument
2005 “the East is Red” for the CAFA “Light of the Academy” Excellent Works Exhibition
2005 Completed courses at the Assistant Professors’ Graduate Program of the CAFA

Liu Ruowang’s creations are executed primarily in bronze. Some of his earlier creations were done in fiberglass, but he very quickly became dissatisfied with the limitations of the medium. He very rarely uses modern industrial stainless steel.
Where many sculptors would have valued the aesthetics of the metallic bronze sheen, Liu Ruowang does not focus on the visual properties of bronze. Instead, he experiments with colours and has mastered the application of colour in an area traditionally neglected in bronze sculpting.

The figures in his works do not have affected poses and neither do they have exaggerated gestures. They are rather like Chinese classical Buddhist cave art with their upright bearing and steadfastness. Even the stitching on their clothes is of the simplest style. These sculptures are very approachable, revealing Liu Ruowang’s knowledge of ordinary people and his belief that heroism comes from the people and the rank and file. He is not above humour, as his East Is Red series exemplifies.

The earthy tones and colours he uses is also reminiscent of old Chinese sculptures unearthed from archaeological digs. The sculptures in the Tai Chi series are very reminiscent of the terracotta armies of China’s first emperor, Qin Shihuang. Similarly, the Heavenly Soldiers are coloured in an earth tone as if they had just been dug up from the ground. This series depict soldiers in modern military uniform but their pose reminds one of a dynastic period warrior.

His latest series have posed significant structural challenges on how to cast and join pieces to form his oversized creations. With The Primates series, he has opted to cast the entire sculpture as a single piece, circumventing the use of joints.

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Liu Ruo Wang: Living Things 刘若望:若望苍生 (English Subbed 英文字幕)

Published on 28 Nov 2018

Liu Ruo Wang: Living Things 刘若望:若望苍生 (Chinese Subbed 中文字幕)

Published on 28 Nov 2018

Conversation with Liu Ruo Wang 对话刘若望

Published on 30 Nov 2018

Liu Ruo Wang's "Wolves Coming" 纵观刘若望“狼来了”作品

Published on 2 Dec 2015

Liu Ruo Wang's "Wolves Coming" on New Zealand TV3

Published on Oct 2012

Liu Ruo Wang's Solo Exhibition in Beijing 黄天厚土 — 刘若望艺术作品展

Published on Dec 2014

Original Sin Series (原罪系列) by Liu Ruo Wang

Published on 1 Dec 2015