Floating Mountain of Immortals

Floating Mountain of Immortals 2005

Zhan Wang’s work “Floating Mountain of Immortals” is exhibited on the coast of Western Europe

The second edition of the Biennial exhibition “2006 Beaufort de L’Art à la côte” officially opened on March 31, 2006. It was hosted by PMMK Museum, located in the city of Oostend in Belgium and was curated by well-known curator Willy Van den Bussche. The peculiarity of this exhibition lies in the fact that after selecting some artists, their works are created with the team of the organizers that is responsible to cover the costs of the materials and of the production, even if the works belong to their authors.
The Long March Space is responsible for the participating work of Beijing-based artist Zhan Wang, the new work “Floating Mountain of Immortals.” 
Although the piece is still made of stainless steel, if compared to past works the difference is that the original stone is no longer a purchased natural rock of the original size, but a small rock is transformed into a mountain. Two stainless-steel figures are on the top of the mountain: one is the artist himself, who is fishing and making phone calls; the other is the artist’s wife, sitting on a slope and roaming in the Internet using her notebook computer. Beside them there is a small pavilion. 
The entire composition looks like a large bonsai whose size is 8.6 meters high and 4.8 meters wide. The artist relied on his personal idea of how a “Mountain of Immortals” should look like. The production methods still followed those employed for the previous works, when the artist engaged in creating rocks: first stainless steel is hammered, and then polished in order to finally obtain a glittering and modern “Mountain of Immortals.” The exhibition is located in Belgium, near the Dutch coast. The site of the exhibition is called Knokke-Heist, located not far from the city of Oostend, which is the oldest resort of the area. 
The work is fixed in the seabed with two spears. When the tide rises, it will undulate on the sea, and be floating on the sea all day long. When the sea level recedes during its ebb tide, the work is completely visible on the beach. People can even visit this mountain. This seems to be a fantasy island, a real “Mountain of Immortals” floating from China. People, who live between the realms of tradition and modernity, seem to be maintaining a free condition similar to the floating of this work, which moves without having any idea of its destination, today it is in Europe, perhaps tomorrow it will be in any other place in the world. When you take a look from the Belgian coast at this ancient European resort, you will see the image of people drifting from the distant China who still seem to believe in the force of nature, even if they don’t know where their next stop will be.

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