The expression of surrealism and the highly imaginative transformation of images lie at the base of the construction of an unrestrained realm in the animated works of Wang Haiyang. His hand-drawn animation works include, among others, Freud, Fish and Butterfly (2009), Double Fikret (2012) and Wall Dust (2016). A hand coming from outside the actual drawing points out the boundaries (and limitations) of the picture frame. From the moment images start to “collide” with the framed two-dimensional plane, or “leap into” another flat plane, the spectator is already immersed in the anxious misgivings felt by the artist during his animating practice. Otherwise put, the drawings are like projections of his inner world onto a two-dimensional plane, or rather they entail a flattening of the gloomy depths of the spiritual world.

Wang Haiyang’s animated works find their origin in his painting practice. The artist applies crayon onto one single sheet of emery paper, after which he rubs it off again to start anew. This cyclical process is repeated several times. No actual sketches are preserved in any conventional sense. The spectator is witness to a transcendence of thought in which the artist lets things take their natural course. The artist regards his artistic, creational practice as an effective way to excavate his very own subconscious. In the words of the artist himself: “I am concerned with the images that dwell in the subconscious and the unconscious, and make attempts to liberate the spiritual undercurrents in the furthest depths of the ego. Even though on the surface you might see a chaotic, absurd and surreal imagination, there is an internal logic to it all. It is precisely the random workings of these logical dots that I’m attempting to dictate and create.”

Wang Haiyang (b. 1984, Shandong Province, China) received his BFA from the Printmaking Department of the Central Academy of Fine Arts (CAFA) in 2008. Recent solo exhibitions include WANG Haiyang, Capsule Shanghai, Shanghai, China (2018); Wang Haiyang, WHITE SAPCE BEIJING, Beijing, China (2018); Wang Haiyang: By Himself, OCAT Xi’an, Xi’an, China (2017); Wang Haiyang, Ullens Center for Contemporary Art, Beijing, China (2016); Dynamic Field: Wang Haiyang, Minsheng Art Museum, Shanghai, China (2016). Wang Haiyang’s video work Double Fikret was awarded the second prize at the 55th International Leipzig Festival for Documentary and Animated Film (Germany), as well as the special jury prize at the 11st Sommets du cinéma d’animation (Montréal Animated Film Summit). In 2010, his piece Freud, Fish and Butterfly was awarded the Grand Prix at the 25th Holland Animation Film Festival (HAFF). The two works were simultaneously shortlisted for a total of more than 20 international film festivals. Wang Haiyang currently lives and works in Beijing, China.