Sandra Ainsley Gallery

Vivian Wang

It is difficult to place my art, sometimes referred to as “Asian Figurative Sculpture,” neatly into the spectrum of the art world as it is both old and new. Ancient in its origins, subjects and some of its materials, my work is also contemporary in its use of cast glass as a significant element of its design. 
In ancient times, figurative sculpture was made in ceramics, stone and wood and I have followed that tradition by using clay for my bodies. In old China, glass was used only for religious artifacts and decorative ornaments; its purpose to mimic jade. In contrast, I employ glass as glass to create my head, hands and feet, a contemporary use of materials.An American of Chinese descent, I have been primarily inspired by the historic paintings and sculptures of the women and children of the Tang and Song dynasties of China and the Heian and Edo Periods in Japan. This explains the subjects in my work, the child emperors, the women and children of the royal courts and Samurai warriors.With Asian features and formal poses, my figures are elaborately clothed in garments replete with Chinese and Japanese patterns and motifs. Inspired by historic textile designs, the surfaces are purposely distressed or “antiqued”. Their style and color, however, have been influenced by my former career as a fashion designer.The glass hands, feet and heads of my figures give them an almost intangible quality and the sculptures a haunting look, mirroring historic Asian paintings and sculptures. Extravagantly embellished with semi-precious stones and crystals, my work reflects the opulence and pageantry of centuries-old court life. A contemporary expression of ancient art.