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Feng Shan
​Shell in the Ghost

Okra-Homa Projects presents Shell in the Ghost, the first solo exhibition by artist Feng Shan, showcasing a selection of her recent sculptures and installations.

Despite having been trained as a sculptor for nine years, Feng Shan does not to shy away from figurative forms that might be considered passé in contemporary art education. Drawing inspiration from objects such as figurines common in Chinese households during the 1990s, and intricate, ravishing orchids, she reimagines these elements on paper, on canvas, and in space. The resulting work capture ambiguous contours and shades, encapsulating moments within the evolving process of reconfiguration. The central installation in the exhibition, titled Forehead, features a collection of tabletop sculptures and their ambivalent projections on the wall – a geometric, flat, layered rockery that confronts the viewer with its frontal view. This landscape represents a radical interplay of constraint, penetration, and permeation between raw, intuitive, sharp forms and rational, polished ones.


Throughout the exhibition, small plaster vessels, primarily white with occasional dark grey, evoke the imagery of epiphytic plants, parasites, or miniature apartments within apartments. These almost magnetic modules, varying in shape and texture, are cast from the packaging of commodities like strawberry boxes or electronics. Akin to the techniques of ceramic and lacquer restoration, Feng Shan uses these plaster structures to fill, extend, and protect furniture-like pieces and indistinct fragments, alluding to the aesthetics of Kintsugi, which not only accepts but celebrates the impermanent and the broken.


Chance and contingency are significant elements in Feng Shan's work, notably in this exhibition with the three black, curled stone sculptures meandering across the floor in loose, elastic gestures. The series, titled "Fruit Peel" (2024), further alludes to the ephemeral nature of everyday waste and its potential falling motion, softening the solidity of granite and marble. Feng Shan deliberately retains the original color and texture of the materials to avoid alienation; however, metamorphosis occurs as the artist skillfully manipulates the deceptive qualities of materials—a block of "polyfoam" reveals itself to be cast in plaster, and a gooseneck vase, seemingly made of clay, has been cast in copper and tinted to resemble clay once again. In her intertwined sculptural forms, the materiality, whose uniqueness is questioned through the process of imitation and reproduction, evokes a dislocation of the senses, rendering the familiar indistinct and distant.

Feng Shan graduated from the Tianjin Academy of Fine Arts in 2012 and received her MFA in Sculpture from the Central Academy of Fine Arts in 2016. She currently lives and works in Beijing.

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