'And when the shadow fades and is no more, the light that lingers becomes a shadow to another light.
And thus your freedom when it loses its fetters becomes the fetter of a greater freedom'.
Kahlil Gibran, The Prophet (1923)
In Lifelines, a range of works by the distinguished artist Wang Huangsheng are brought together in a public civic space in the centre of Hong Kong and at 3812 Gallery. ‘Lifeline’ is a term in English that implies the saving of life when one is in urgent need of help and the connotation of rescue is here intended culturally, as a metaphor for Wang’s lines as cultural thread, just as the trunk of a tree steadily grows upwards, supporting all the branches, his lines form the key element throughout his oeuvre. As an important member of the art world and someone whose roles have navigated being a museum director, a founder of large-scale art events such as the Guangzhou Triennial and pur- suing his own artistic practice over many years, Wang’s persistent artistic output and creativity can indeed be understood as a life- line. His varied professional and artistic life has art at its centre, both publicly and privately.
Over the years, in his expansive ink practice, Wang’s pur- suit of line has departed from a more classical mode in his earlier works to a more experimental abstraction that take various forms – from dense clusters of curvaceous lines lightly swooping in and out to express a sense of uninterrupted movement in space, through to more horizontal modes of thicker lines in his more recent works that are softly textured yet rigorous and bold. Though brush and ink are his principal medium, he also works with textiles, resin, newspaper and barbed wire, expanding his visual language in sustained bodies of work that contain ideas of vision, trace, and metaphor as central threads, each series visually evoking an unde- finable visceral sense of being and aesthetic experience.