Wang Shugang, China
Title: The Meeting
Artist: Wang Shugang (b. 1960, China)
Medium: Eight painted bronze figures
Dimensions (H X W): 92 x 75 cm (36 x 30 in) each
Weight: 100 kg (220 lbs) each
Former Location: Rey Sargent Park (Lonsdale & 21st St. West) in North Vancouver
The Meeting was originally exhibited at the 2007 G-8 summit meeting in Heiligendamm, Germany. It is not without irony that the red figures are placed in a circle, static and crouching with cupped hands, open to various interpretations, from one of thoughtful contemplation to one of latent energy ready to leap up. Wang Shugang’s installation for the Vancouver Biennale, The Meeting, is painted a shade of red that is known as Chinese Red, the colour associated with the Chinese government and communism. This hue ranges from a vivid red to a red-orange made from vermilion, sometimes referred to as cinnabar.
According to the artist, “… the colour red has multiple cultural meanings in China, historically representing happiness but during the Cultural Revolution it symbolized terror. Today red is the colour of the faded lettering praising Mao on the ceilings of the factories, coats of the Buddhist monks and the colour of wedding decorations”. Wang Shugang made his North American public art debut as part of the 2009 – 2011 Vancouver Biennale exhibition.
In 2017, The Meeting was loaned to the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts for La Balade pour la Paix: An Open-Air Museum, a project for the 375th anniversary of Montreal, the 50th anniversary of Expo 67 and the 150th anniversary of Canada. La Balade pour la Paix: An Open-Air Museum was designed and organized by the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts in collaboration with the McCord Museum and with the support of Concordia and McGill universities. The large public art exhibition was installed along one kilometre of Sherbrooke Street and showcased 67 works conveying a message of peace, in the image of universal values of humanism, tolerance, and openness that inspired the creation of Expo 67.