Wu Shaoxiang first gained public attention from his modern abstract sculptures. With the aim of providing greater exposure to Chinese art, he initially explored contemporary themes and subjects in his works. His boldness marked him as an artistic pioneer at the time, and was a key facilitator of the development of modern Chinese art history. It was not until after Wu immigrated to Austria in 1989 that he modified his outlook to fully embrace his Chinese identity in his artwork, while keeping a global perspective. Recent themes examined the increasingly prevalent consumer culture in the world, and the detrimental effects of globalization.
Wu Shaoxiang’s earlier works were characterized by elements of Western modernism and Chinese impressionism. The abstract presentation used in his “Outcry” series explored the theme of sexual consciousness and the female body. As an uncommon artistic theme in China then, this set Wu Shaoxiang apart from his more conservative contemporaries early on. His later works, similarly, involved bold themes conveying a strong social message, for instance in his interpretations of both Western and Chinese sculptural forms by using the medium of coins, or the reduction of artistic images to commercial symbols. His talent in incorporating form and concept has established Wu’s individual artistic signature on the international art stage and earned him critical acclaim.
Born in 1957, Wu Shaoxiang began his career as a sculptor since his study at the Jingdezhen Ceramics Institute China, that year he turned twenty-one. He then obtained a master’s degree at the Central Academy of Arts and Design (now the Academy of Fine Arts, Tsinghua Unviersity), and was elected one of the most influential Chinese avant-garde artists by the Fine Art of China, the most important magazine of modern art in China at the time. Wu Shaoxiang has exhibited extensively in Austria, China, Germany, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Italy, Singapore, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Along with his sculptor wife Jiang Shuo, he currently lives and works across Beijing, China, Berlin, Germany, and Klagenfurt, Austria.