Sunday, June 14, 2009
Wang Qingsong is an influential contemporary Chinese artist known for his large-scale photographs which explore the political, social, and cultural issues of a rapidly changing China. The Hammer is pleased to present his newest work, Skyscraper (2008).
In Skyscraper, Qingsong employed 30 scaffolding workers from the countryside near Beijing during a month long production, to build a 35meter high ‘skyscraper’ out of gold-painted iron scaffolding. Using stop-action 35mm film he captures the entire process, but without showing the workers. China has been growing at breakneck speed but what is not always noticed, like Wang’s process behind his photos, is the immediate effect and sacrifices of millions of displaced and anonymous people. The end of the film shows fireworks exploding from the top of the skyscraper in a jubilant but dark celebration as we listen to three women sing a Chinese version of “Silent Night, Holy Night.”
Sponsor(s): Hammer Museum at UCLA