“I am obsessed by the beauty of logic and numbers.”
b.1978, Shenyang, Liaoning. Lives and works in Beijing
Xia Hang constructs intricate sculptures from stainless-steel parts that he designs and makes himself. He loves steel for its combination of strength and malleability—qualities that humans share. In the intense heat of the forge, steel “will change shape or even melt,” he says. “Isn’t it the same for our life? We need to be brave but understand when to compromise, be persistent but understand when to give up.” Defence (2014) was inspired by the national outrage that followed a notorious 2013 murder: a car thief, finding a baby in the back seat, strangled the child and buried his body in a snow bank. Xia Hang says the gleaming, clockwork-like skull represents the face of “evil beauty”. To Poseidon—Rebel (2014) is a stainless-steel shark that the artist constructs “like a warship, indomitable and invincible”.