Boy Holding A Shark

Chen Wenling (China)


Title: Boy Holding A Shark
Artist: Chen Wenling (China)
Medium: Iron, corten steel
Dimensions (H x Diameter): 7.8m (sculpture 3m, base 4.8m) x 1.8m
Weight: 1,200 KG
Location: Seawall (False Creek South)

Chen Wenling’s art often deals with three themes: personal experience, human desire, and community imagination. His vocabulary usually includes exaggerated forms, bright colours, whimsical and metaphorical tones. Frequently using industrial materials, his works are modest and earthy, and always have a timeless quality. Following his ambitious solo exhibition in Beijing Mingsheng Art Museum, Duration of Allegories, Chen Wenling has brought his ‘Allegories’ to Vancouver, with two monumental sculptures featured in the Vancouver Biennale‘s Open Air Museum, The Proud Youth and Boy Holding A Shark,  and an indoor exhibition at Sunzen Art Gallery, all curated by Michael Suh.

Boy Holding A Shark looks into the subject of human-nature. Sharks are often considered to be ferocious animals. However, due to humans’ endless thirst for interest and expansion of destructive activities, the oceans and marine life, including sharks, have severely suffered from environmental damages, such as global warming and sea pollution, that are fatal to marine life.  This work is the artist’s reflection on the growing tension between humans and the ocean. It is an alert that the destruction of nature will eventually counteract humanity itself. The artist hopes to evoke concerns about environmental issues through the power of art and inspire changes in the global community.