• Beijing-born, Berlin-based artist Wang Ruohan is making a stop in Shanghai to present her buoyant work at Danysz Gallery. This is the first time that the acclaimed young artist slash designer slash illustrator is having a gallery solo show in China, after a successful museum presentation last year at the Yuan Art Museum in Chongqing. A color-fueled exhibition where Wang’s paintings immerse the gallery visitors in a fantasy world full of bold visual ideas and tongue-in-cheek representations of human nature.

  • “My work is about the simplistic nature of humankind.”

    - Wang Ruohan

  • Reinterpreting the Mundane
    Wang Ruohan, Happy Flower Car, 2018, Acrylic on canvas, 200 x 150 cm

    Reinterpreting the Mundane

    Wang stresses the importance of people watching in her creative process. She draws inspiration from observing her surroundings, pinning down and reinterpreting mundane elements of city life. “My work is about the simplistic nature of humankind,” she says. This is reflected in her playful simplification of objects and human behaviors. One of the most recurrent items in her vocabulary, a pair of walking legs, is evocative of the Chinese character , meaning Man or people, and acts as a symbolic shortcut for human nature and activity.

     

    Likewise signposting is one major influence on her work, specifically in the city of Berlin where she lives and which she often cites as a positive influence: “There’s a very bold aesthetic here that is different from other cities. Whether it’s the typography on the highway or posters on the street, the words and symbols are clear and big enough so you can understand the information being communicated quickly. This informs the way I use shapes and colors in my own work.”

  • “I’d rather be an artist who is not limited to only a few methods, and also one who never stops learning about new techniques.”

    - Wang Ruohan

    • Wang Ruohan Earthday 02 , 2020 Acrylic on canvas 200 x 150 cm 78 3/4 x 59 1/8 in
      Wang Ruohan
      Earthday 02 , 2020
      Acrylic on canvas
      200 x 150 cm
      78 3/4 x 59 1/8 in
    • Wang Ruohan Holiday, 2021 Acrylic on canvas 200 x 150 cm 78 3/4 x 59 1/8 in
      Wang Ruohan
      Holiday, 2021
      Acrylic on canvas
      200 x 150 cm
      78 3/4 x 59 1/8 in
    • Wang Ruohan Daily 02 , 2021 Acrylic on canvas 200 x 150 cm 78 3/4 x 59 1/8 in
      Wang Ruohan
      Daily 02 , 2021
      Acrylic on canvas
      200 x 150 cm
      78 3/4 x 59 1/8 in
    • Wang Ruohan Dancers Under Cloud , 2018 Acrylic on canvas 150 x 100 cm 59 1/8 x 39 3/8 in
      Wang Ruohan
      Dancers Under Cloud , 2018
      Acrylic on canvas
      150 x 100 cm
      59 1/8 x 39 3/8 in
    • Wang Ruohan Happy Flower Car , 2018 Acrylic on canvas 200 x 150 cm 78 3/4 x 59 1/8 in
      Wang Ruohan
      Happy Flower Car , 2018
      Acrylic on canvas
      200 x 150 cm
      78 3/4 x 59 1/8 in
    • Wang Ruohan Horse and Sword , 2019 Acrylic on canvas 150 x 100 cm 59 1/8 x 39 3/8 in
      Wang Ruohan
      Horse and Sword , 2019
      Acrylic on canvas
      150 x 100 cm
      59 1/8 x 39 3/8 in
    • Wang Ruohan Daily 03, 2021 Acrylic on canvas 200 x 150 cm 78 3/4 x 59 1/8 in
      Wang Ruohan
      Daily 03, 2021
      Acrylic on canvas
      200 x 150 cm
      78 3/4 x 59 1/8 in
    • Wang Ruohan Horse and Flower, 2019 Acrylic on canvas 150 x 100 cm 59 1/8 x 39 3/8 in
      Wang Ruohan
      Horse and Flower, 2019
      Acrylic on canvas
      150 x 100 cm
      59 1/8 x 39 3/8 in
  • The pursuit of the surreal
    Wang Ruohan, Nonsense, 2018, Acrylic on canvas, 50 x 70 cm

    The pursuit of the surreal

    Often described as “whimsical”, Wang’s universe explores what she calls “the surreal world of images in the deep level of human consciousness”. For the artist, Art’s prerogative is the pursuit of the surreal. She strives to transcribe in visual language a world of unspoken possibilities, an imaginary offshoot of contemporary life.

    “I think reality can be recorded best by a camera, whereas surreality can only come from artworks. It seems like our duty to bring people from reality to surreality through art. It’s kind of like going to the sea... If you swim deep down into the water, you can see creatures down there that are beautiful.”

    • Wang Ruohan The magical pot , 2018 Acrylic on canvas 200 x 150 cm 78 3/4 x 59 1/8 in
      Wang Ruohan
      The magical pot , 2018
      Acrylic on canvas
      200 x 150 cm
      78 3/4 x 59 1/8 in
    • Wang Ruohan Me Dog , 2021 Acrylic on canvas 200 x 150 cm 78 3/4 x 59 1/8 in
      Wang Ruohan
      Me Dog , 2021
      Acrylic on canvas
      200 x 150 cm
      78 3/4 x 59 1/8 in
    • Wang Ruohan Warning, 2018 Acrylic on canvas 150 x 100 cm 59 1/8 x 39 3/8 in
      Wang Ruohan
      Warning, 2018
      Acrylic on canvas
      150 x 100 cm
      59 1/8 x 39 3/8 in
    • Wang Ruohan Replacement, 2021 Acrylic on canvas 200 x 150 cm 78 3/4 x 59 1/8 in
      Wang Ruohan
      Replacement, 2021
      Acrylic on canvas
      200 x 150 cm
      78 3/4 x 59 1/8 in
    • Wang Ruohan Earthday 01 , 2020 Acrylic on canvas 200 x 200 cm 78 3/4 x 78 3/4 in
      Wang Ruohan
      Earthday 01 , 2020
      Acrylic on canvas
      200 x 200 cm
      78 3/4 x 78 3/4 in
    • Wang Ruohan Human Naked 02 , 2019 Acrylic on canvas 100 x 150 cm 39 3/8 x 59 1/8 in
      Wang Ruohan
      Human Naked 02 , 2019
      Acrylic on canvas
      100 x 150 cm
      39 3/8 x 59 1/8 in
    • Wang Ruohan Nonsense, 2018 Acrylic on canvas 50 x 70 cm 19 3/4 x 27 1/2 in
      Wang Ruohan
      Nonsense, 2018
      Acrylic on canvas
      50 x 70 cm
      19 3/4 x 27 1/2 in
    • Wang Ruohan Human Naked 01 , 2019 Acrylic on canvas 100 x 150 cm 39 3/8 x 59 1/8 in
      Wang Ruohan
      Human Naked 01 , 2019
      Acrylic on canvas
      100 x 150 cm
      39 3/8 x 59 1/8 in
  • "From a technical point of view my work focuses on an interactive experiment between illustration, objective and improvisational aesthetics."

    - Wang Ruohan

  • Learning about New Techniques

    Wang Ruohan, mural work in Jerusalem

    Learning about New Techniques

    A graduate of Berlin University of Art, Wang had a strong background in illustration and graphic design already prior to moving to Germany. From there, delving into painting and printing techniques was a seamless affair. Then came animation, outdoor installations, mural works, fashion design… “Itʼs the result of a desire to be constantly evolving. As an artist who studied illustration, I wouldnʼt express my ideas only on paper.” This variety of techniques allows her to challenge her limits. “The possibilities of each medium motivate me to explore how far is too far.”

  •  “The possibilities of each medium motivate me to explore how far is too far.”

    - Wang Ruohan

  • an affinity with the digital

    Wang Ruohan, white cube exhibition

    an affinity with the digital

    Saturated colors, facets of city life combined with elements of nature floating in abstract space, the universe of Wang Ruohan has a virtual quality that recalls the digital space, sometimes integrating animated GIFs or even taking the form of retro-futuristic video animations. Her paintings, drawings and illustrations seem perfectly at home when displayed on a screen, as demonstrated by her strong Instagram account. “Online is an ideal way to show my work.” Wang excels at hopping across online and offline realities, as though there was no separation between both worlds. Whether flashing on her social media feed, hanging on a wall or soaring high on the facade of a tall building, her work feels like one continuum, one unbroken, gloriously colorful fresco. 

  • Wang Ruohan was born in Beijing. She graduated in 2017 from Berlin University of Art. Her work has been presented...

    Wang Ruohan was born in Beijing. She graduated in 2017 from Berlin University of Art. Her work has been presented in important institutions like the Art Museum of Nanjing University of Arts, the Scotland's National Centre for Design and Architecture, the Yuan Art Museum in Chongqing, K11 in Shanghai, and the Deutsches Museum in Munich. She has worked on many collaborations with brands like Nike, UGG, Off-White, The New York Times or The New Yorker. She is currently a professor at the Peter Berens School of Art in Düsseldorf. She lives in Berlin.

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