Kiki Xuebing Wang
Kiki Xuebing Wang (b. 1993, China) received her BFA from University of California, Los Angeles in 2016 and will graduate from MA Painting at the Royal College of Art, London in 2020. Wang's paintings explore a twisted view of modern consumerism through the lens of luxury fashion and other objects of desire. Taken down from the spotlights and high pedestals, peeled off from massive billboards and commercial campaigns, the trending garments portrayed are trapped, marginalized, displaced, and obscured in the paradox of scale, location and value, examining the possibility to transform the non-valuable into the valuable, and to discern fictions from realities. Her recent group exhibitions include: Bridget Riley Studio, London; Barbican Arts Group Trust, London; CLC Gallery Venture, Beijing; Zona Mista, London; Sackler Gallery, London; Slime Engine Gallery, Shanghai; and New Wight Gallery, Los Angeles. She is shortlisted for Chadwell Award and Barbican Arts Group Trust. Wang was in a panel discussion at Taipei Dangdai art fair, Idea Forum in January, 2020.
Coming from the culture where people believe capitalism is devil, but I am interested in looking at advertisements of luxury object such as handbags, loafers, etc. This guilty pleasure is the driving force for me to depict the objects that I am longing for, also a way to explore how and why consumerism has an eerie effect.
The work portrays objects of desire in a strangely economic fashion, creating a paradox of scale and location to question the total being of the luxuries. Contrary to their usual representations, the work is depicted in an “in your face” manner; handbags, watches, and garments are represented in an intimate size, so much so that the appearance and integrity of the luxuries are in turn compromised. Investigated here is the possibility of transformation between non-valuable and the luxury, and the multiplicities of fictions and realities.
In terms of visual language, I am interested in non-traditional lighting in paintings, and often get inspiration in Dario Argento’s horror films - high contrasting colored lighting intensify the visual sensation. The way he built up tension with unusual lighting, stage design and collaboration with different composers is what I have been thinking about how to translate it into painting language. I am also interested in figuring out how to apply disturbance factors in his films into painting, and I think Cezanne is a good example of mastering "disturbance" - by intentionally ignoring the hierarchy of subjects, and focusing on simple objects that allow him concentrating on construction of forms, which can be seen in his exploration in colors and light.