Wu Liangyan has sculpted many images of children wearing red scarves . These children with plump cheeks and heads held-up high, full of mirth and bursting with happiness, could easily ignite the memory of several generations of Chinese and draw us back to the childhood days when we were playing around and making troubles while facing heavy academic burdens. In Wu’s works we could nd different forms of children that are rich with symbolic signi cance and embody the sculptor’s mature examinations and insights regarding the historic development and societal phenomena of China as well as values and orientations in life.
Wu Liangyan’s works have been shown in Beijing, Singapore, US, Canada and France, as well as widely collected by institutions and collectors from China, US, France, Singapore, Malaysia, Taiwan and Hong Kong, including Bengbu University and VPark.
As natural and social beings, none of us could escape the modern dilemma of being a self- contradicting paradox. Sharp-eyed as they are, artists should be able to capture this phenomenon and present it in front of the public with ingenuity. Wu Liangyan is de nitely one of these artists. Featuring penetrating social criticism and a relaxed and lively style, Wu’s works both neutralize and amplify the collision between the con icting powers.
With bulging cheeks and closed eyes, the characters stand on one leg and hold each other’s hands to face the outside world. In addition to their rather mature style of clothing, they always wear a bright-colored red scarf. All of us are familiar with the symbolic meaning of red scarves, an integral part of the school uniform for primary school students around China—another example of the con ict between the adult world and innocent childhood.
For the younger generation of artists that were born under the red ag and grew up during the 1980s, red scarf embodies the eagerness to attain con rmation of one’s values and orientations. And Wu Liangyan with his sculpted characters that hold their heads high and smile sweetly is exactly expressing this desire and impulse to win approval.