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Rising Stars: Meet Feiran Wang

Today we’d like to introduce you to Feiran Wang.

Hi Feiran, we’re thrilled to have a chance to learn your story today. So, before we get into specifics, maybe you can briefly walk us through how you got to where you are today?
I spent my childhood in a suburban town in Huangshan, a city in eastern China, where my grandparents had a chicken coop in their backyard. As a preschool kid, watching chickens in the coop was one of the most fun activities for me. Once a chicken was born with an underdeveloped third leg. Not yet understanding the concept of genetics, that chicken looked to me like a character from a fairy tale and it left an enormous visual impact back then when I was only a five years old child.

Though it technically belonged to my grandparents, I claimed it for myself because it was so very different. I would never thought the encounter with the three-legged chicken would guide and decide my path in the future. Sometime after the chicken passed away, I have almost forgotten about it; and so it stayed in the background of my mind for years. In 2014, following my father’s footsteps, I came to Los Angeles to study for the master’s of architecture design, and while preparing for my thesis, mutated chicken miraculously came back to me; as the subject of my thesis, I have redesigned my grandparents’ house, based on forms and textures of mutated chickens. The house was meant as a gift for my deceased grandpa.

After graduation, I decided to be an artist instead of an architect. After a short inter-period of explorations of various artistic themes and subjects, I came to the realization that the central subject of my entire artistic opus needs to be MUTATED CHICKEN because it obsessed me like no other. Though it might sound strange, it seems to me as if the Mutated Chicken picked me and not the other way around.

We all face challenges, but looking back would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
There has been some challenges, for example, some practical technique perspectives of how to perfect the surfaces with the materials I apply, or how to decrease the weight of the sculptures and so on. It is also quite challenging of introducing and spreading mutated chicken images to the rest of the world.

Can you tell our readers more about what you do and what you think sets you apart from others?
I am a visual artist, I work on various mediums including paintings, sculptures, limited edition prints and digital, mutated chicken is my subject, is my voice and is what I would like to be remembered for. Luckily, with the assistance of advanced computer technology made of contemporary materials, mutated chickens could exist in more possible visual forms in the 21st century. To me, Mutated chicken means the happiest memory of my childhood, a memory that I would like to spend my lifetime within, a happy chapter that I would like to repetitively recall and rebuild. The iconic ‘stinky eye’, repetitively appearing on the Mutated Chicken character, likewise derives from my childhood, when I used to employ the mimic whenever anyone failed to fulfill my desires.

I am proud of being an artist and having one subject that once accidentally appeared in my early childhood and later picked me as an artist and is now deeply integrated in my everyday life. Mutated chicken is a happy dream being passed from one child – Feiran Wang, to the rest of the world.

Networking and finding a mentor can have such a positive impact on one’s life and career. Any advice?
I do think education in school plays a role in systematic thinking and learning but self-learning is becoming more and more important. The nature of searching for a mentor or even the nature of a mentor passing on his knowledge has revolutionary changed in the past few decades since the internet became so widespread. If there is a mentor with much more knowledge and experience in the field that you would like to pursue, asking questions and sharing opinions would always be a great solution to the unknown. In the 21st century, I more tend to think everyone on the internet could just be your mentor, everyone has something they would know that you do not. We live in an era of digitalized information sharing net; searching for information and finding the answer is more convenient than ever, hence self-learning becomes not only more important but also more efficient.

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Image Credits
All the images are the property of Feiran Wang, except for the photograph with the file name “Mutated Chicken with six legs gives you the stink eye at Dab Art” was taken by Janet Milhomme.

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