Welcome to the Desert of the Real, 2010

Wang Jianwei
Welcome to the Desert of the Real, 2010
Five-channel colour HD video
Installation with sound
Dimensions variable
Installation view


Wang Jinawei was academically trained as a painter, he was one of the first Chinese artists to embrace video as a legitimate medium for art. An early video, Production, 1997, looks at how private interactions create personal space in a public realm such as a teahouse, then a fixture in Sichuan culture.

More recent works fragment narrative structure, presenting viewers with multiple parallel realities within the space of a single screen (Symptom, 2008) or placing them inside an eight-channel video installation that can only be seen one channel at a time (Making Do with Fakes, 2011).

Wang has exhibited extensively both within China and internationally, in solo exhibitions at Ullens Center for Contemporary Art, Beijing (2011); Today Art Museum, Beijing (2009); Zendai Museum of Modern Art, Shanghai, China (2008); Asia-Australia Arts Center, Sydney, Australia (2004) and Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, USA (2002).

Group exhibitions include the Venice Biennale (2003); São Paulo Bienal, Brazil (2002); dOCUMENTA 10, Kassel, Germany (1997) and the Gwangju Biennale, Korea (1995).

This person was part of Sharjah Biennial 11


Jianwei, Wang

Welcome to the Desert of the Real

Wang Jianwei’s work is inspired by Slavoj Žižek’s book of the same name – a quote from the 1999 film The Matrix that echoes Jean Beaudrillard’s influential treatise Simulacra and Simulation.