The image of an animal carrying the world on its back is common to the creation myths of many cultures around the world. Beijing-based artist Ruilin Wang explores that concept in Dreams, a series of evocative sculptures depicting large-scale animals with tiny landscapes emerging from their forms.
Each nearly life-size work consists of a certain creature paired with a type of world. Rocky cliffs spring from the oceanic body of a yak. Puffy clouds rest upon a deer’s antlers. An alpine landscape emerges from the back of a sleek blue whale.
Wang’s animal works are heavily influenced by traditional Chinese art. He traces his interest in art to the age of 4 or 5, when he saw an ink painting of a horse by Chinese artist Xu Belhong. “I was concerned on it for several days and even be obsessed with Chinese ink and wash paintings, which consist of brief sketches but are full of vigor,” he writes.