Nan Wang (1986, China)

Rotterdam, the Netherlands
Art Project Depot - 5 questions - Nan Wang
What are the most essential components of your artistic practice?

As a multidisciplinary artist, I explore the possibilities of material-based abstract works. I find beauty and philosophical meanings in unwanted objects, discarded substances, unintended mistakes. I use both digital and analogue techniques to re-purpose, re-invent and re-engineer audiovisual tools to present everyday unwanted objects and substances in new contexts. I am interested in obsolete media and in creating my own tangible audiovisual tools to produce immersive spatial and sensorial experiences. My works often take the form of projection installations, live audiovisual performances and experimental films.

How do you interact with space when creating a project?

I like to create immersive and sensorial experiences for the visitors in the space. My artwork often takes the form of audio-visual projection installations or performances where I can compose a new experience with light and sound depending on the venue. Sometimes I play around with scaling in my artwork. For example, when I blow up the microscopic dust images with my DIY projector, they transform into a storm or landscape-like image.

What is the role of text in developing images?

I don’t work with written text so often in my work. I prefer to work with abstract patterns, noise, and meaningless objects. Even if it is meaningless, we, as human beings, often project our own interpretation on them. I find this process fascinating.

What reaction do you attempt to provoke in your audience through your work?

Overall in my research, I am fascinated by the human interpretation of abstract and random images, how our perception and cognition have always been somehow chaotic and arbitrary, very much grounded in our individual narratives. Noise and chaos seem to act as a mirror where we reflect ourselves. It is my strong belief that abstract visual art with its open possibilities, its open interpretations, is a solid alternative to mainstream storytelling, to the overwritten and overseen narratives that populate our imagery. It allows an open experience that enables individuals to associate meaning personally, and create a better understanding of their surroundings. This lets them experience the processes by which reality is comprehended and offers them a chance to rethink their presence within it.

What is the role of the research approach in contemporary art?

I think in a way, my practices are very multidisciplinary, hard to define and ever-evolving. Also, contemporary art as a classification goes back to the early 90s, however, the artworks created back then might not be considered "contemporary” nowadays. So, personally I think "contemporary art” is an ever-changing and evolving term. It should push the boundaries of different fields of practice as well as address current issues with an artistic approach and language, which is what I am trying to do in my creative practice and research.

Selected works