Zhan Wang was born in 1962 in Beijing where he currently lives and works. He is best known for his iconoclastic sculptures that are heavily influenced by traditional and contemporary Chinese society, culture and philosophy.
He was trained at the Beijing Industrial Arts College and received a BFA in Sculpture from the Central Academy of Arts in 1988. His practice is predominantly comprised of painstakingly formed large metal sculptures that resemble rocks through which he explores intertwining urban and natural landscapes as well as human and natural history. His stainless-steel replicas of jiashanshi or “scholar’s rocks”, unusual rocks that would traditionally be found on the desks and in the gardens of Chinese intellectuals and are used for meditation, imitate and comment on this ancient form from a perspective of a contemporary urban environment. His ongoing Artificial Rocks series exemplifies the quandary of modern China, a fast-developing industrial nation, with a rich cultural history. He represented China at the 50th Venice Biennale (2003). His works are in the permanent collections of the Saatchi Collection, London; Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; the de Young Museum, San Francisco; the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles. He has had group and solo shows at prestigious global institutions and events including the National Museum of China (2011), The Ullens Center for Contemporary Art (2011) and Today Art Museum (2014), all Beijing; National Taiwan Museum of Art (2012); The Metropolitan Museum of Art (2013), New York; ART021 Shanghai Contemporary Art Fair (2015, 2016); Art Basel Hong Kong (2015, 2016), and the Shanghai Pujiang OCT Ten Year Public Art Project (2016). He received the Martell Artist of the Year awarded by the China Art Museum (2006), Shanghai, and the Award of Art China for Most Influential Artist of the Year (2011), Beijing. He is an Associate Professor of Sculpture at the Central Academy of Fine Art.