Evelyn Taocheng Wang


    Evelyn Taocheng Wang (b.1981, Chengdu) currently lives and works in Rotterdam. In 2006, she graduated as a Bachelor of Chinese Traditional Art from Nanjing Normal University. In 2012, she completed her MFA in HBK Städelschule.

    Evelyn Taocheng Wang’s work is constituted by a “constellation” of sources that span over various defined categories of art, including painting, calligraphy, installation, video, fashion design and performance. Her work serves as a medium and agency for multiple themes that she has set up: traditional Chinese art, modern and contemporary art, colonial history, queer theory, femininity and feminism. Through overlay and hybridization, the artist arrives at a vocabulary that integrates and interconnects these seemingly autonomous notions.

    From 2012 to 2014, Wang completed an independent artist residence program at the De Ateliers in Amsterdam. Her work is in the collections of ABN AMRO Collection, Amsterdam, The Netherlands; Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, US; Centre Pompidou, Paris, France; Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam, Amsterdam, The Netherlands; Centraal Museum, Utrecht, The Netherlands, among others.

    Recent solo exhibitions: Het Licht Is Rond (The Light Is Round), Dordrecht Museum, The Netherlands (2023); An Equivocal Contrast, curated by X Zhu-Nowell, Rockbund Art Museum, Shanghai, China (2023); Norwegian Music in Dutch Window, Kayokoyuki, Tokyo, Japan (2022); Heart of Eyeshadows, Antenna Space, Shanghai (2021); Reflection Paper, Kunstverein Düsseldorf, Düsseldorf, Germany (2021); Het Bloemblaadje, Dat Tijdens Het Ochtendkrieken Was Gevallen, Paktte Ik Op In De Avondschemering, Hermitage Museum with ABN Armo Art Prize, Amsterdam, The Netherlands (2021); Sour Gnossiennes, Museum Abteiberg, Mönchengladbach, Germany (2020); Spreading Elegance, FRAC Champagne-Ardenne, Reims, France (2019); No Blood in the Afternoon, Carlos/Ishikawa, London, UK (2019); What is he afraid of?, KW Institute for Contemporary Art, Berlin, Germany (2018); Company, New York, US (2018); Four Season of Women Tragedy, Galerie Fons Welters, Amsterdam, The Netherlands (2017); For An Embarrassed Person It is Always Very Difficult To Avoid Embarrassing Things, Carlos/Ishikawa, London, UK (2017); Heatweave Wrinkle, Chateau Shatto, Los Angeles, US (2017); Allegory of Transience, Frans Hals Museum | De Hallen Haarlem, Haarlem, The Netherlands (2017) among others.

    Selected group exhibition: Clandestine Knowledge: Collection 1980s-Present, MoMA, New York, US (2023); Horizons: Is there anybody out there?, curated by Robin Peckham, Antenna Space, Shanghai, China (2023); Horizens, Museum für Ostasiatische Kunst (Museum for East-Asian Arts), Cologne, Germany (2022); Busan Biennale 2022: We, On the Rising Wave, Busan, South Korea (2022); Note to Self, Sofie Van de Velde, Antwerp, Belgium (2022); To Be Like Water, Tent, Rotterdam, The Netherlands (2021); In The Midst of It All, G Museum, Nanjing, China (2021); Ink City, Tai Kwun Contemporary, Hong Kong, China (2021); |||: She spins the thread, she measures the thread, she cuts the thread, Nest, Den Haag, The Netherlands (2021); Frequencies of Tradition, Guangdong Times Museum, Guangzhou, China (2020); Risquons-Tout, WIELS, Brussels, Belgium (2020); Global(e) Resistance, Centre Pompidou, Paris, France (2020); In the Presence of Absence, Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, The Netherlands (2020); Neither Black/Red/Yellow Nor Woman, Times Arts Center, Berlin, Germany (2019); In my room, Antenna Space, Shanghai, China (2019); Hollandse Nieuwe, Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, The Netherlands (2018); It’s Get Better V, ICA, London, UK (2017); Public Programme, Documenta, Kassel, Germany (2017); Barbarians & Philosophers: Images of China in the Golden Age, Frans Hals Museum, The Netherlands (2016) among others.






    • Evelyn Taocheng Wang: Who is the master?|Isabel Parkes

      Wang is a rule bender. A commitment to fusing right with wrong, quotidian with institutional, and high with low courses through her practice. She inures herself to familiar formats in order to better interrupt her process of making and interpreting those formats This Trojan horse approach cultivates an active experience of looking that carefully conflates fantasy with melancholy, introspection with pop culture, and history with a version of the future that feels uncannily, at times unnervingly, familiar. ‘As an artist, I have lots of work to do to simply mix my two different elements: classical ones with new forms, new words, new body cultures, new national identities.’ Yet, as she adds, ‘All different elements can exist.’ Perhaps this is something to keep in mind when looking at Wang’s work: that the splintering or questioning it provokes, the natural light and the fake shadows, might together be signs of a new and fluid, if more dissonant, kind of coexistence.

    • Mutter, Ich bin dumm! Evelyn Taocheng Wang | Hendrik Folkerts

      I am looking at a painting by the Chicago-based Surrealist artist Gertrude Abercrombie, Self-Portrait of My Sister, created in 1941. The woman has sharp features, an elongated neck, and her gaze projects onto an unknown horizon beyond the picture frame. The radiant blue of her eyes echoes the green and blue of her dress, collar, and hat, the latter adorned with dark purple grapes and a corkscrew. Her lips are pressed, giving her face a stern, austere expression, in subtle contrast with the playful gesture of her right hand embracing her left wrist. Tellingly, Abercrombie was an only child. The artist used self-portraiture to create an alter ego, an imaginary sister—was she smarter, prettier, meaner, or more real somehow? In her records, she would refer to this painting as “Portrait of the Artist as Ideal,” stating: “It’s always myself that I paint, but not actually, because I don’t look that good or cute.” The painting reminds me of Evelyn Taocheng Wang, and all the other possible Evelyns envisioned by Wang.

    • Openings: Evelyn Taocheng Wang|Karen Archey

      THERE IS NO ONE THING that we could call the “immigrant experience,” but certainly everyone who has immigrated is familiar with how mundane misunderstandings can reveal cultural tectonics, of how humor can sometimes be mobilized to leaven pain. What’s the correct time of day to introduce yourself to a new neighbor? How earnestly should you respond to the question “How are you?” Will you come off as suspicious to the neighbors if your curtains remain drawn? The answers to these questions might seem relative or merely dependent on personal proclivity, yet one’s approach to these everyday situations constitutes, in part, the je ne sais quoi of national belonging. And while learning a new culture can be refined into a science, other qualities will still mark us as different, factors comprising who we are, where we come from, and our appearance.

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