Archive: MoNA
Attractive & repulsive – Detailed models of cathedral-like trucks

Attractive & repulsive – Detailed models of cathedral-like trucks

Wim Delvoye - Caterpillar nr. 5, Beaufort Triennial, Middelkerke, Westende, Belgium

Wim Delvoye - Caterpillar nr. 5, Beaufort Triennial, Middelkerke, Westende, Belgium
Wim DelvoyeCaterpillar nr. 5, at Beaufort Triennial, Middelkerke, Westende, Belgium

Wim Delvoye is a neo-conceptual artist that is well known for his innovative and sometimes out-of-the-box projects. He connects the attractive and the repulsive in an effortless way, creating works that are inherent contradictions. When you see his pieces for the first time, you almost feel repulsed, then seduced, and finally held in awe of his craftsmanship and aesthetic.

His work is indiscriminate, as was the case with Cloaca and he dares to challenge the art industry and the inconsequence of contemporary art production, questioning the commoditization of contemporary work where the value of the art is more important than what it represents. At the Louvre Museum, one of his gothic works juxtaposed carpeted pigs that had been taxidermied with grand crystal chandeliers in Napoleon III’s apartment. In another piece, he placed a colossal 11-meter phallic globe that looks like a corkscrew suppository right beneath the museum’s glass pyramid.

There is no doubt that Delvoye thrives in challenging audiences to be more open minded by making them feel perturbed and on edge. His non-conformist style and showmanship sets him apart from other artists as he dares to alter people’s ideas of beauty where he continually associates the repulsive with the attractive. Even though his gothic works have stirred a lot of controversies, it is evident that he makes every effort possible to ensure that every element is as he needs it to be.

His gothic works show off his extensive artisanal skills such as embossing, steel work, weaving, tattooing and glass making. His ornate steel and stainless steel gothic cathedral trucks showcase a level of skill and craftsmanship that can only be described as ‘so Delvoye.’ The scale models of the cathedral trucks that were created using the architecture and the visual quality of the gothic era marry so well to create a contrast between gothic craftsmanship and the machine-based exterior of the vehicles.

The amount of detail featured in the models is astounding, and more importantly, it challenges the viewer’s perception of things. The more daring thinker, ought to appreciate his talent for connecting two seemingly impossibly incompatible styles to produce masterful works of art.

Wim Delvoye - D11, 2008, laser-cut Corten steel, 117x127x270cm, Installation view, Rodolphe Janssen, Brussels, Belgium, 2008
Wim DelvoyeD11, 2008, laser-cut Corten steel, 117x127x270cm, Installation view, Rodolphe Janssen, Brussels, Belgium, 2008

Wim Delvoye - Cement Truck, 2010, laser-cut Corten stell, 980x408x213cm, KVS, Brussels, Belgium 1
Wim DelvoyeCement Truck, 2010, laser-cut Corten stell, 980x408x213cm, KVS, Brussels, Belgium

Wim Delvoye - Cement Truck, 2010, laser-cut Corten stell, 980x408x213cm, KVS, Brussels, Belgium 2
Wim DelvoyeCement Truck, 2010, laser-cut Corten stell, 980x408x213cm, KVS, Brussels, Belgium

Wim Delvoye - Cement Truck, 2007, laser-cut Corten stell, 802x225x352, MONA Museum of Old and New Art, Tasmania, Australia
Wim DelvoyeCement Truck, 2007, laser-cut Corten stell, 802x225x352, MONA Museum of Old and New Art, Tasmania, Australia

Wim Delvoye - Concrete Mixer, Laser-cut Stainless Steel 2
Wim DelvoyeConcrete Mixer, 2007, laser-cut stainless steel

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20 tons of incense ash to create 5m statue

20 tons of incense ash to create 5m statue

Zhang Huan - Sydney Buddha, 2015, aluminum, 5m height, Carriageworks, Sydney, Australia

Zhang Huan - Sydney Buddha, 2015, aluminum, 5m height, Carriageworks, Sydney, Australia 1
Zhang HuanSydney Buddha, left: Aluminium Buddha, 370x290x260cm, right: Ash Buddha, 350x480x290cm, Carriageworks, Sydney, Australia, 2015

Zhang Huan, born in 1965, started out his career as a painter and then moved to performance art and then resorted back to painting. He is also a sculptor and photographer, but his main focus is being a performance artist. Throughout his career, he has made extensive use of ash, and even built a few sculptures with it. Zhang says that he considers ash to be symbolic as it represents the hopes and the prayers of those who usually burn the incense. To him, the ash sculptures represent collective blessing, memory, and soul of the Chinese people. The ash is collected from various temples in Shanghai, a time-consuming process that involves many hands.

When making such sculptures, the ash is compacted into the mold for a number of days, and then the aluminum sculpture is removed and reassembled facing the ash sculpture. Eventually, the ash sculpture will start trampling down after sometime, while the aluminum sculpture remains intact.

In 2015, Zhang created the Sydney Buddha, one headless metal statue, and another one made from over 20 tons of incense ash, crumbling gradually. It was named Sydney Buddha for purposes of its presentation in Australia. Initially, it was known as Taiwan Buddha. The Sydney Buddha is a meditation on the briefness of life and the various cycles that facilitate the renewal and destruction of life. This piece is made using two parts: the main sculpture made of aluminum and the incense-ash casting as the interior. These pieces are placed facing each other, and as time elapses, one of them depreciates. The Berlin Buddha is another monumental ash sculpture of Buddha, made from 6 tons of ash from burned incense. This ash has been poured into an aluminum mold that stands at 4 meters tall.

Zhang believes that each ash Buddha represents the prayers, thoughts, and hopes of mankind, which eventually collapse. This is the cycle of life and the taking action when there should be no action taken, upsets nature, in a way.

Zhang Huan - Sydney Buddha, 2015, aluminum, 5m height, Carriageworks, Sydney, Australia
Zhang HuanSydney Buddha, Ash Buddha, 350x480x290cm, Carriageworks, Sydney, Australia, 2015

Zhang Huan - Sydney Buddha, 2015, aluminum, 5m height, Carriageworks, Sydney, Australia
Zhang HuanSydney Buddha, Aluminium Buddha, 370x290x260cm, Carriageworks, Sydney, Australia, 2015

Zhang Huan - Sydney Buddha, 2015, aluminum, 5m height, Carriageworks, Sydney, Australia
Zhang HuanSydney Buddha, left: Aluminium Buddha, 370x290x260cm, right: Ash Buddha, 350x480x290cm, Carriageworks, Sydney, Australia, 2015

Zhang Huan - Sydney Buddha, 2015, aluminum, 5m height, Carriageworks, Sydney, Australia 10
Zhang HuanSydney Buddha, Ash Buddha, 350x480x290cm, Carriageworks, Sydney, Australia, 2015

Zhang Huan - Sydney Buddha, 2015, aluminum, 5m height, Carriageworks, Sydney, Australia 10c
Zhang HuanSydney Buddha, Ash Buddha, 350x480x290cm, Carriageworks, Sydney, Australia, 2015

Zhang Huan - Sydney Buddha, 2015, aluminum, 5m height, Carriageworks, Sydney, Australia, Photo Michael Young
Zhang HuanSydney Buddha, Aluminium Buddha, 370x290x260cm, Carriageworks, Sydney, Australia, 2015

Zhang Huan - Sydney Buddha, 2015, aluminum, 5m height, Carriageworks, Sydney, Australia 7d
Zhang HuanSydney Buddha, Aluminium Buddha, 370x290x260cm, Carriageworks, Sydney, Australia, 2015

Zhang Huan - Sydney Buddha, 2015, aluminum, 5m height, Carriageworks, Sydney, Australia 7b
Zhang HuanSydney Buddha, Aluminium Buddha (detail), 370x290x260cm, Carriageworks, Sydney, Australia, 2015

Zhang Huan - Berlin Buddha - Art Stage Singapore, 2013
Zhang HuanBerlin Buddha, Art Stage Singapore, Singapore, 2013

Zhang Huan - Berlin Buddha - Museum of Old and New Art, 2014
Zhang HuanBerlin Buddha, Museum of Old and New Art, Hobart, Tasmania, Australia, 2014

Zhang Huan - Berlin Buddha - Museum of Old and New Art, 2014 3
Zhang HuanBerlin Buddha, Museum of Old and New Art, Hobart, Tasmania, Australia, 2014

Zhang Huan - Berlin Buddha - Museum of Old and New Art, 2014 2
Zhang HuanBerlin Buddha, Museum of Old and New Art, Hobart, Tasmania, Australia, 2014

Zhang Huan - Berlin Buddha (Preparatory Drawing) 4, 2007, ink on paper, 82.5 x 102cm
Zhang HuanBerlin Buddha (Preparatory Drawing) 4, 2007, ink on paper, 82.5 x 102cm

Zhang Huan - Berlin Buddha (Preparatory Drawing) 5, 2007, ink on paper, 82.5 x 102cm
Zhang HuanBerlin Buddha (Preparatory Drawing) 5, 2007, ink on paper, 82.5 x 102cm

Zhang Huan - Berlin Buddha (Preparatory Drawing) 7, 2007, ink on paper, 82.5 x 102cm
Zhang HuanBerlin Buddha (Preparatory Drawing) 7, 2007, ink on paper, 82.5 x 102cm

Zhang Huan - Berlin Buddha (Preparatory Drawing) 9, 2007, ink on paper, 82.5 x 102cm
Zhang HuanBerlin Buddha (Preparatory Drawing) 9, 2007, ink on paper, 82.5 x 102cm

Zhang Huan - Berlin Buddha (Preparatory Drawing), 2007, ink on paper, 82.5 x 102cm
Zhang HuanBerlin Buddha (Preparatory Drawing), 2007, ink on paper, 82.5 x 102cm

Zhang Huan - Berlin Buddha (Preparatory Drawing), 2007, ink and soya sauce on paper, 82.5 x 102cm
Zhang HuanBerlin Buddha (Preparatory Drawing), 2007, ink and soya sauce on paper, 82.5 x 102cm


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