Culture / Art Republik

Huang Yong Ping Goes Big at Monumenta 2016

The China-born French artist’s Monumenta exhibition opened in Paris this month and runs to June 18.

May 10, 2016 | By Shatricia Nair

As the name suggest, Monumenta is indeed monumental. As the 2016 event lumbers into view, the exhibition space in the Grand Palais transforms into a spectacle to behold. The incredibly vast space (think 13,500m² of floor space and 45m of vertical space) provides artists endless possibilities and opportunities to showcase their works.

Huang Yong Ping_Monumenta

This year, the biennale exhibition belongs to Huang Yong Ping, a radical avant-garde artist who made his name in China in the ‘80s. Though hardly an easy task, the China-born French artist should find it a cinch as his works are often on a grand scale. His 130-meter long aluminum “Serpent d’océan” installed in the estuary where the Loire River meets the Atlantic in Western France or “Wu Zei,” a giant octopus he installed in the Oceanographic Museum of Monaco are anything but subtle.

Titled “Empires”, Huang aimed to create a “symbolic landscape” of today’s globalized economy – eight islands overhung by a structure the shadow of which will mix with that of the metal framing of the Grand Palais’ vaulted glass ceiling.

Huang Yong Ping_Monumenta

Jean de Loisy, president of the Palais de Tokyo contemporary art museum and curator of the exhibition, says that Huang’s work will manifest “the metamorphoses of political and economic powers, the rise of new geographic regions, the decline of ancient empires and the appearance in the interim of new candidates aspiring to that power and the violence that their ambitions provoke.”

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