Following Yin Xiuzhens first solo exhibition Second Skin in 2010, Pace Beijing
presents a second solo exhibition this July for the artist. As a leading Chinese Contemporary artist, Yin has the ability to imaginatively integrate collective memories and places, drastic changes and rough realities with some of her intimacy personal items; revealing the reality of Chinese Postmodernism its impermanence quality shadowed upon its uncontrollable development. Such quality was also brought out in two of the artists new works Nowhere to Land (2012) and Firework (2013) featured in this exhibition the wheels that idle in midair, and the disorderly falling of the once dazzling fireworks.
Traits of the artists modest, nostalgic and feminine vulnerable character are evident in her works, combined with collective memories and fragments; the artists concerns for the future are subtly but effectively conveyed through her works. Yins works not only reflect the accelerated historicity of our daily experience, they also represent the artists individual significance and independence. Furthermore, through her works, Yin transcends individual elements and strives to establish some kind of personal values in the public realm. According to Homo K. Bhabha, this is known as Thirdness, a key element and a conceptually new international culture based on hybridity, a space that collapses alternative cultural practices and historical narratives.
Yins performance art Washing Water (1995) which implemented two days is one that caught most public attention. The artist handed out cleaning brushes, buckets and clean water to passers-by; cleaned water was then injected back into the polluted river in an attempt to clean 10 cubic meters of polluted water from a river nearby. In her other project Beijing (1999), the artists project for the Third Asia-Pacific Treiennal, 200 unsettling photos displaying environmental damages during a renovation were mounted on tiles, and then constructed onto a traditional Beijing style roof-like structure. The art piece brought upon some huge impact on its audiences, forcing them to a close encounter to the unbalanced and destructive impact caused to their environment in the name of development. For her Portable City Series (2001-), Yin collected worn clothes from different cities and used them to create miniature models of either the local architecture or suitcases, signifying globalization. In an installation work, Collective Unconsciousness (2007), over 400 pieces of clothes were collected from individuals to extend the vehicle, which is an emblem of the early phase of economic reform; turning the little private van into a very long public bus to signify collective idealism and compressed reality. The piece was exhibited at the New York Museum of Modern Art in 2010. A used shipping container has been transformed into a signature round cut diamond in Yin Xiuzhens piece Black Hole (2010), suggestive of our unlimited wants and desire to consume.
This exhibition at Pace Beijing is yet another major solo exhibition for the artist, following the first two stops of her solo retrospective tour exhibition in Europe, at Groninger Museum and Dusseldorf Art Museum. The artist is having a fruitful year ahead of her. Besides the exhibition at Pace Beijing, an exhibition named Black Hole organized by the Taiwan Fubon Foundation is being held during the same period. The artist will also be submitting her work Book Rack to the Moscow Biennale, and her works Collective Unconsciousness and the Portable City Series will be exhibited in the Seoul National Gallery in November.
A leading female figure in Chinese contemporary art, Yin Xiuzhen (b. 1963, Beijing, China) began her career in the early 1990s following her graduation from Capital Normal University in Beijing, where she received a B.A. in oil painting from the Fine Arts Department in 1989. Her artworks have since been shown extensively in various international exhibitions. Yin Xiuzhen currently works and lives in Beijing with her husband and fellow artist Song Dong.
Most well known for her works that incorporate second-hand objects, Yin uses her artwork to explore modern issues of globalization and homogenization. By utilizing recycled materials as sculptural documents of memory, she seeks to personalize objects and allude to the lives of specific individuals, which are often neglected in the drive toward excessive urbanization, rapid modern development and the growing global economy. The artist explains, "In a rapidly changing China, memory seems to vanish more quickly than everything else. Thats why preserving memory has become an alternative way of life." Yin uses memory as a critical tool to examine the political, social and environmental constructs that surround her.
Inspired by the quickly changing environment of her native Beijing, common themes in Yin Xiuzhens work include memory, the past and the present, as well as the complex relationship between individuals and the constantly shifting society they live in. Through collection and assemblage of old materials in a new context, Yin is able to weave past experiences together with the present. In this way, she embraces the notion of memory and experience in an attempt to convey aspects of individual lives in relation to global transformation.
Yin Xiuzhen has participated in many international and domestic group and solo exhibitions. Solo exhibitions include Nowhere to Land, Pace Beijing, Beijing, China(2013), Yin Xiuzhen, Groninger Museum, Groningen, Netherlands (2012), Second Skin, Pace Beijing, Beijing, China (2010) and Project 92, Museum of Modern Art, New York, U.S.A (2010). She has participated in various significant exhibitions around the world including the 5th Moscow Contemporary Art Biennale, Moscow, Russia(2013), the First Kiev International Biennale of Contemporary Art, Mystetskyi Arsenal, Kiev, Ukraine (2012), OUR MAGIC HOUR: Yokohama Triennale, Yokohama, Japan (2011), the 7th Shanghai Biennale, Shanghai, China (2008), the 52th Venice Biennale, Venice, Italy (2007), the 14th Sydney Biennale, Sydney, Australia (2004), the 26th Sao Paolo Biennale, Sao Paolo, Brazil (2004) and Inside Out: New Chinese Art which was organized by the Asia Society Galleries, New York, and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, California (1998). The artist has received a range of prestigious awards including the China Contemporary Art Award (CCAA) and the UNESCO/ASCHBERG award in 2000. Her work has also been acknowledged in The New York Times in 2006 and Art in America in 2003.