Half Woman, Half Machine, All Disturbing: The Scupltures Of Fan Xiaoyan
Born in 1983 in Gaomi (Shandong Province), Fan Xiaoyan graduated in 2008 from the Sculpture Department of the Central Academy of Fine Arts in Beijing where she currently lives and works.
Fan Xiaoyan’s sculpture expresses a spanking new interpretation of the modern Chinese woman. In Xiaoyan’s series of sculptures flesh and metal are combined with an acute severity, exploring the mechanics of penetration with unsettling force. Cyborgs are a metaphor for the technological advancement of the human race and Xiaoyan uses cruder machinery such as saw blades, engine rotors and piping to convey a more primal, sexual robot humanoid.
Yet, on a more sophisticated level Xiaoyan is recognizing the increasing influence of feminism in contemporary Chinese society and through her series of sculpture, makes a stern and provocative statement on the sexual empowerment of woman and her active contribution to industrial progression.
Fan herself says that her work proclaims “the arrival of a new era, a new kind of human being, a new power, a new sensation… a surrealistic virtual world in which men and women are equal”. Certainly, the violent contrast between pink flesh and cold, hard steel in Fang’s works gives rise to an intense visual and psychological shock. The unbearability of enduring such heavy attachments gives rise to a kind of strength and sweetness.
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