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February 8, 2013
As we head into the Year of the Snake celebrations this week, New York gallery Barry Friedman Ltd gears up to present contemporary Chinese artist Wang Wusheng at a solo exhibition, "Celestial Realm," from March 7-April 27. Wusheng, whose work hangs in the Smithsonian, the National Art Museum of China, and others, currently splits his time between Shanghai and Tokyo for work.
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  Heart Dragon Pines Overlooking the Peak taken at Now-I-Believe-It Peak in 1975
    Heart Dragon Pines Overlooking the Peak taken at Now-I-Believe-It Peak in 1975
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  North Sea Guest House, taken at Lion Peak in 1984
    North Sea Guest House, taken at Lion Peak in 1984
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  Two Dragon Pines, taken at West Sea in 1979
    Two Dragon Pines, taken at West Sea in 1979
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  Twin Bamboo Shoot Peak, taken at the Heavenly Sea in 1991
    Twin Bamboo Shoot Peak, taken at the Heavenly Sea in 1991
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  Disciples of Buddha and Stone Bamboo Shoot Bridge, taken at Now-I-Believe-It Peak in 1984
    Disciples of Buddha and Stone Bamboo Shoot Bridge, taken at Now-I-Believe-It Peak in 1984
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  Twin Bamboo Shoot Peak, taken at the back slope of Turtle Peak in 1984
    Twin Bamboo Shoot Peak, taken at the back slope of Turtle Peak in 1984
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  Sleeping Figure Peak, taken at Cloud Dispelling Pavilion in 1984
    Sleeping Figure Peak, taken at Cloud Dispelling Pavilion in 1984
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  Wolf's Fang Stone in the West Sea Valley, taken at Cloud Dispelling Pavilion in 1994
    Wolf's Fang Stone in the West Sea Valley, taken at Cloud Dispelling Pavilion in 1994
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  Jade Screen Peak, taken at Heavenly Capital Peak in 1979
    Jade Screen Peak, taken at Heavenly Capital Peak in 1979
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Celestial Realm: The Yellow Mountains of China
Heart Dragon Pines Overlooking the Peak taken at Now-I-Believe-It Peak in 1975

The large-scale black and white photography focuses on China’s Mt. Huangshan mountain range, which Wusheng has shot for the past forty years. Located in the southern part of the Ahui province, with seventy-two peaks, it is one of the most dramatic landscapes in the world. Wusheng, who grew up in the Anhui province near the Yellow Mountains, was inspired by his childhood memories, traditional Chinese ink drawings, and the concept of an "other" world.

In tandem with the exhibition, Abbeville Press will release a hardcover edition of Celestial Realm: The Yellow Mountains of China. The 240-page volume includes an introduction by art historian Wu Hung. An excerpt from it describes one of Wusheng’s photographs as “a symphony of dark and light and of substance and emptiness. The strange, vertical peak emerges from a gossamer mist that veils a deep abyss. Its impressive height is suggested by the silhouette of tall trees in the foreground, yet is dwarfed by the huge precipices looming above it. The image retains almost all the essential features and qualities of an immortal mountain in traditional Chinese art: a particular iconography of mountain peaks, the fundamental role of clouds and mist, a heightened feeling of mystery, and a sense of infinity generated by a mountain represented as both macrocosm and microcosm."

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