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At the intersection between art and science

By Zhou Wenting in Shanghai | China Daily | Updated: 2019-05-31 09:25
Shanghai artist Wang Xuyuan's Arctic Ink installation series goes on display at the Global Scientists Conference in Davos, Switzerland in June 2018.[Photo provided to China Daily]

The realms of art and science are often considered polar opposites, but the boundaries between them are torn down whenever Shanghai artist Wang Xuyuan wields his brush.

For the past seven years, Wang has been championing the preservation of polar regions through his art, which he says offers his viewers a reflection of our times.

To date, Wang has created more than 100 pieces of art that feature arctic elements such as icebergs, penguins and mountains. He has even used water melted from Arctic ice to mix his ink.

"I was astounded by the charm of nature and the universe when I first set foot onto the Arctic. I was determined to protect this beautiful kingdom," says the 62-year-old.

"I felt so small when surrounded by the myriad stars and the gorgeous aurora borealis over my head. I felt that it was time that I did something more meaningful with my life."

One of his most eye-catching works is an installation series titled Arctic Ink, which made its public debut during the Global Scientists Conference held in Davos, Switzerland, in 2018.

Wang pointed out that the work, which was widely praised by scientists and experts as "an encounter between art and science", was probably the first time that an artist had communicated with scientists about a global issue, interpreting the beauty of the icebergs, the aurora borealis and the penguins from a unique perspective.

"I can still remember the excited looks on their faces the moment they saw my paintings of penguins," Wang says, pointing at a photo of three British scientists who were posing like penguins in front of his paintings during the 40th Antarctic Treaty Consultative Meeting in 2017.

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