Born in 1949 near Beijing, Wang Keping is one of the greatest Chinese living artists. Though he was attracted for a while by theatre as a young man, he turned to sculpture in the late 1970s, becoming a member of the “Xingxing / 星星” group which burst on to the international art scene in 1979 marking the de facto creation of the first avant-garde art movement to come out of the People’s Republic of China.
He became a standard bearer for young freedom-loving artists, and his sculpture, titled Silence, emblematic of opposition to censorship, made the headlines of the New York Times a few days after an exhibition was banned by the authorities. Married to a teacher of French nationality, Wang Keping waited for over three years before being allowed to travel to Paris in 1984. Two years later he began working with the Galerie Zürcher, a collaboration which lasted thirty years.
In the 1990s, a number of his monumental sculptures were installed in France, the USA and in Germany, but it was with Spectateurs, made for the «Champs Elysées de la Sculpture» in 2000, that his career really took off. Large-scale group shows followed this event, culminating in a solo exhibition in 2009 at the Shenzhen museum, which presented nearly three decades of his work. Over the following
years, several museums in France held exhibitions of his work: Zadkine (2010), Cernuschi (2011), Chaumont-sur-Loire (2016 and 2020), Rodin and Guimet (2022), while a first retrospective was given in Beijing at the UCCA Centre for Contemporary Art in 2013; one of his works was purchased by the Musée National d’Art Moderne. Wang Keping has been represented by the Galerie Nathalie Obadia in Paris and Brussels since 2017.