Wang Ruilin

Surreal animal sculptures in copper that transcend a calm, serene atmosphere. These animals carry the weight of the world on their backs.

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Surreal animal sculptures in copper that transcend a calm, serene atmosphere. These animals carry the weight of the world on their backs.

Sculptor Wang Ruilin, a Beijing resident, creates surreal animals that don’t act like animals at all. Their necks are bent into weird positions. Their backs, and sometimes their antlers, function as arcs that carry monumental elements of nature like lakes and mountain cliffs. It’s like an animal-version of Noah’s Arc without people.

Animals such as whales and deer are intersected with cloud and water motifs, bridging the two together into a large-scale sculptural series. Wang Ruilin considers the work to be “the denial of our current world and a depiction of an ideal one. I oppose the self-centeredness of human beings and the ruthless exploitation of other species and natural resources. I seek harmony with nature. Nature’s greatness lies in her inclusion of everything on earth, while man’s greatness lies in his perception of his own smallness. To find conformity to nature is my attitude towards life.”

Ruilin’s majestic sculptures (some of which are almost life-sized) are heavily influenced by traditional Chinese art and mythology. The artist describes his creative process as digging deep into his heart and excavating “works that originally exist from various experiences.”

He always recalls the inspirational moment at the age of four or five when he first encountered the Galloping Horse by artist Xu Beihong. He sees it as the perfect merge of oriental surrealism and occidental rationalism. Out of the love of horses, they became one of the main characters of Wang’s works, resulting in the series “Horse. Play.” Wang pours the lively power of the animal in different static postures, creating significant tensions in the works.

People will try to understand them with their own values and aesthetics. Different thoughts could collide on the same piece of sculpture. That’s the charm of art.

Wang Ruilin

“Every sculpture is created as an individual. And every piece of work has its origin in daily life.” Wang usually goes deep to find inspirations in his experience. During the long process of creation, he needs to stimulate his senses and manifest his feelings in order to maintain his passion for the work.

He also says about his sculptures; “People will try to understand them with their own values and aesthetics. Different thoughts could collide on the same piece of sculpture. That’s the charm of art.”

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Horse. Play.
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Horse. Play.
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Working on Horse. Play.
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Surreal animal sculptures carrying the weight of the world on their back.
Dreams. Crocodile.
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Hide. Seek. Castle.
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Hide. Seek. Castle.
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Hide. Seek. Pavilion.
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Hide. Seek. Pavilion.
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True and False Monkey King.
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Working on True and False Monkey King.