Other Art Forms
Chinese Australian artist Fan Dongwang has in recent years combined his traditional Chinese ivory carving technique with his new acrylic canvas paintings. Known for his contemporary depiction of traditional Chinese cultural symbols, Fan has explored cultural differences, often from diverse visual perspectives, in his other art forms including sculpture, photography, installation, video and printmaking.
The objects in Descendants have been given the imagery of “heads, eyes, mouths, arms, legs and tails” which project an animate quality to fabricate the unidentifiable biomorphic bodies. The constructed beings may thus be akin to the insect/bird/fish/human/machine hybrids that can be extended indefinitely by inventing new versions under the theme of Descendants. The entire composition of Descendants becomes a much-manipulated reassemblage of some limited simple mechanical forms to trigger the viewer’s interest. The strictly geometrical shapes thus have an ambiguous effect of an autonomous being.
This collection of photographic collages depicts the land of the dragon - China's past and present. During the project period Fan Dongwang went to China to take a number of photos for the creation of his mixed medium work titled Dragon Land. These works illustrate the huge change and dilemma China now faces: A rapid modernisation into an international commercial city had obliterated the old city, the very structure of the country had been dismantled and a new world had emerged. Dragon Land represents a snapshot of this new Chinese world.
Buddhist prayer beads are a traditional tool used to count the number of times a mantra is recited whilst meditating. In this installation, over 1000 DVD-ROMs (each containing DVD videos of Buddhist scriptures, prayers or teachings) are strung together like Buddhist prayer beads, hanging high from trees to form a giant Buddha, shining brilliantly under the sun, chanting in the breeze, praying for world peace.
Dragon Land, The Prayer, Dragon in Water
Fan Dongwang's three video work can be viewed here: Dragon Land, The Prayer and Dragon in Water.
Fan Dongwang's printmaking produces images of Dragon.