Wang Luyan was a member of the avant garde Stars, a group of young Chinese conceptual artists in the late 1970s who radically called for artistic freedom in intellectual pursuits in post-Mao China. In the 80s he was a founding member of New Movements, a collective who, inspired by Western philosophies, used analytic geometry to explore the potential for communication and perception. This systematised method of making avoided the erratic tendencies of painterly abstraction, yet the group's success almost forced the artist out of practice. His recent works are slick paintings depicting modern devices, such as watches or rollerblades, as well as weapons branded with a large 'W.' These weapons are instruments of self-destruction, which Wang aligns with the relentless forward motion of time.
Trained as a mechanical engineer, he is also a moralist, highly critical of China’s newly competitive, materialistic society. “In the 1960s and ’70s there were no choices,” he says. “Every family had one watch, one bicycle, one sewing machine. Now there are many choices and brands. People are confused.”