Confetti, 2022
Glazed stoneware, variable size

My most recent work, which is still a work in progress, are ceramic confettis. Confetti doesn’t have a past and they don’t have a future, all they have is just the present moment. Boom, they’re in the air and then they’re trash immediately. Ceramic, on the other hand, freezes in its forms, so ceramic sees time from a totally different perspective. For this piece I installed the ceramic confettis on the floor to have this “The Party is Over” experience- they have a sadness in them but still holding the shape. Also, how all of these ceramic confetti’s are handmade and delicate (I did each of them on my own). They have a special shape and a special meaning, and that’s very contrary to the confetti’s which are just mass produced.

Confetti, 2022
Glazed stoneware, variable size

Can I ask you a follow up question here? You said they are hand made and so, my thoughts went to conceptual artists, who might have these confetti’s fabricated. Is that something that you would consider or is it important to you to make everything on your own?

I feel that for this specific work, I want them to be made by myself, or, even in the future, if I have one or two assistants, I’d still want them to be hand made, because that’s the concept of this work. I have to say, though, that for other works, where I wanted to represent the “Made in China” issue, I specifically order the material “made in China”. So, to answer your question, I’d say it depends on the piece.

Any other work that you’d like to share with me?

Yes, let me show it to you on the screen. So, this is a piece that is 60 inches,1.5 meters, and it’s a giant disco ball. I ordered the sticker and the ball in China and I put these stickers on the ball one by one by one by one. And these stickers are security stickers, one of those stickers that once you peel it off, it leaves a void, meaning that the object has been opened. So, these stickers have become the monitors for capitalism, they are monitoring the labourers, to make sure that the labourers don’t open the pieces themselves.

Oh, I didn’t know that….

Yeah…and once they are pulled off they can’t be put back, so that the customers know when purchasing the product that nobody has opened it before them. So, I would say that I see these stickers as the last step of production but also the first step of consuming. And this is an interactive piece, I’m asking the audience to peel off the stickers one by one like a customer but at the same time, while they’re peeling it off, they are just like the labourers that got to put it on. So, in that case, the customer also becomes a labourer for consumerism and capitalism. The ball is clear, so when the audience peels the stickers off like the customers, they’re able to see what’s happening on the other side of the globe. So, it’s a metaphor for when we buy all these cheap things, what’s happening on the other side of the globe. 

Puzzled Dome
Powder-coated steel, mirror, and shearling fur Dome
18” x 27” x 29”; fur 1” x 42” x 28”

On your website you write that you use people’s reluctance to dig into long descriptions of artworks and you present your art in a direct, fresh way. Can you please comment a bit on that?

Sure, so partly I would say that this is because I’m not a serious person but also because in today’s world everything is moving so fast, like fast food, fast fashion, or TikTok- when Youtube videos became too long and now we have TikTok. And we’re using all these hashtags on our pictures in Facebook on Instagram, and we’re basically using them to label ourselves, because we want to know each other as fast as possible or we want to describe each other as fast and as immediate as possible to other people. And I’m saying this not as a critique and neither to protect it, I’m just stating it. So, knowing that, I also want my artwork to have a fast access in a way. Like I said in the beginning, some people might see my art and want to stop there for about 2 seconds, so when I’m making the work, I always think about the people who are only going to stay and look at the work for 2 seconds, because I still want them to be able to get something from it. Also, if they are an outsider, I still want them to get a certain level of my work. Meanwhile, I also want to put many details for those viewers who are willing to spend more time with the work.

I believe that we’re using all these hashtags on our pictures because we want to know each other as fast as possible & we want to describe each other as fast as possible. Knowing that, I also want my artwork to have a fast access in a way.

Leo Wang, #SOFAB

Any advice for fellow emerging artists, especially at the start of their career?

So, maybe one advice that I’ve told my students before, especially to the beginners is…well, let me explain it: you know, because I teach in college level, some students come there right after high school and they always feel so nervous or insecure when they don’t have enough life experience. So, sometimes they would pull on a façade, a dark or a serious façade, but then I would always say: “It’s totally okay to be shallow, it’s totally fine to be superficial as long as there is something that really relates to you.”

Oh, that’s an advice I’ve never heard before…

You know, I don’t know if that’s something that only happens in the American Art Education or if it’s happening overall, but based on my own teaching experience I’ve witnessed it many times. You know, there are all this contemporary and abstract contemporary galleries that talk about a serious problem or their own mental problems and that influences the students not necessarily in a good way. It makes them feel that, if their problem isn’t serious enough, it’s not worth to express it or to express themselves. Or they feel that they have to pretend to have a problem that they actually don’t have which, in turn, is bad for their own mental health. Because when you keep thinking in a negative way, then it can affect your own mental health and it happens to some students. So, as an answer to that I say: “It’s okay to be superficial, be true and honest to yourself.”

I’d agree with you on that, no need to create a problem for yourself when you don’t have one (we both laugh). And my last question, as in all interviews: what are your hopes for the future?

So, I would say that the more that I’m getting into my practice, the more I’m seeing my works as installations. I’m not against putting them on a pedestal, when it comes to a few specific works, but the era of installation is an era that I want to explore more. And meanwhile, I also want to keep on working as a curator to keep on communicating with other artists and it’s something that also inspires myself. Did that answer your question?

Absolutely, and thank you so much for the interview.

Leo Wang performing “Quilted Emptiness”
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All Photographs courtesy of
Leo Wang
Interviewed & written by Nina Seidel
Edited by Nina Seidel

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