Eternity - Poseidon, 2017
This statue by Xu Zhen is based on the 'Artemisian Bronze', a statue dating back from 400 BC and found in a sunken ship at the bottom of the sea in Artemisia, off the Greek coast. Until today it is unclear whether the statue represents Poseidon, the God of the Sea, or Zeus, the God of the Sky. Xu Zhen has copied the ancient sculpture and has put several components of Beijing Duck, a Chinese specialty dish, on the arms of the statue. The Beijing Duck dish has become famous in the 14th century, when it developed into a favourite of the Chinese emperors and has since been a Chinese national symbol representing Chinese culture during diplomatic banquets.
In his sculpture, Xu Zhen mixes together two elements that are either at the root of the Western or Eastern culture. He acknowledges that in real life, there is a reluctance towards cultural exchange between China and Europe, caused by cultural prejudice and the fact that each side has its own fixed historical interpretations. Xu Zhen contemplates on the development of culture and civilisation that is based on mythology, and he states that historical interpretations are not as fixed as we often believe. The fact that we still don't know whether this sculpture is in fact Zeus or Poseidon is just one example that attests to the fact that a change in how we understand our own culture is always possible. This work is part of a series of sculptures, mixing Eastern and Western historical artifacts, called The Eternity Series.
Xu Zhen is a Chinese artist. In 2009 together with a group of colleagues he founded 'MadeIn Company', a production company for contemporary art that plays on the notion of 'Made In China'. In 2013 the MadeIn Company launched 'Xu Zhen' as a commercial brand, here represented by gallery Waldburger Wouters. Xu Zhen (produced by MadeIn Company) recently held solo exhibitions at the Sichuan Fine Arts Institute, Chongqing, China (2016), Witte de With Art Centre, Rotterdam, the Netherlands (2015) and the Long Museum, Shanghai, China (2015). Xu Zhen (produced by MadeIn Company) participated in group exhibitions including Turning Point: Contemporary Art in China since 2000, Minsheng Art Museum, Shanghai, China (2016), The Future is Already Here – It’s Just Not Evenly Distributed, 20th Biennale of Sydney, Sydney, Australia (2016) and How to Gather, 6th Moscow Biennial, Moscow, Russia (2015).
Beach promenade at Prinses Josephinelaan, De Haan
- Tram stop: De Haan Waterkasteellaan
- Cycling node: 6
- Walking node: 54