In 2019 Wang Shao-Gang completed two interconnected video projects titled Deep Blue and Apple Green; both pieces record and examine youth and in turn ask the viewers to examine their present day selves.
The artist explained that “there is often a sense of uncertainty stemming from not fully knowing one’s path. Yet this sense of uncertainty is not absolute, but rather a speculation of what will be.”
The viewers will observe the artist’s use of two natural environments — the ocean and the forest — to symbolize the organic nature of life. These environments also provide a backdrop for self-imagination that allows the artist to organize the experiences of youth into ongoing reconstructions of images and states. The works are more than an ode to youth, they are profound illustrations of a sense of vitality whose fragility can only be matched by its tenacity; whose qualities encompass uncertainty and hope, and the desire to love and be loved.
Deep Blue illustrates the contradictory feelings youths have about their own deficiencies while Apple Green describes the explorations of their values and the unknown. The exhibition will also include Ugly Doll, a provocative video that conveys desires of the flesh which will be played on a smart-phone. Works of photography — body, scar, gun, flower, and shining — will be shown in the form of a digital storyboard simulating a youth’s imagination of his or her own image. Through his series of exhibited works, the artists seeks to stir up the feelings of unease and anxiety buried deep within our collective psyche.
From Deep Blue
On a beach, a group of youths frolic their way through a self-inducted ritual into adulthood and explore their expectations of life and the perplexity they feel towards the unknown, spending a moment together that seems to last a lifetime.
From the perspective of a common video recording, the artist creates a scattered order of images, illustrating how these companions try and fail to resist the ambiguous feelings of desire and affection for one another and their thirst for love as well as their lacking ability for it. Through a chaotic loop of animal-like behaviors, the subjects cling to this world that they do not yet know.
From Apple Green
In an unknown future, the youths wander about a forest and ask guardian angels from tarot cards questions about love, the future, family, and their paths, creating a dialogue around uncertainty. From their interactions with the angels and each other, they explore a sense of trust by which they are able to establish unique sets of values and beliefs. Through heavy use of peering at his subjects through a hidden third-person perspective, the artist magnifies the emotional and physical states of the fresh-faced youths whose fixed gazes illustrate a profound and indescribable melancholy amidst valley wind and swirling fog.