This catalogue is the first overview of Yin Xiuzhen's art in the past two decades and coincides with two exhibitions held in Groninger Museum, Groningen, 16 June - 18 November 2012, and Kunsthalle Düsseldorf, Düsseldorf, 15 December 2012 - 17 February 2013.

'The Kunst­hal­le Düs­sel­dorf, in col­la­bo­ra­ti­on wi­th the Gronin­ger Mu­se­um, is pre­sen­ting the first ma­jor so­lo exhibi­ti­on in Eu­ro­pe de­vo­ted to the work of one of Chi­na’s most im­portant ar­tists, YIN Xi­uzhen (born 1963 in Pe­king, li­ves and works the­re). The show con­sists of a comprehen­si­ve sur­vey of her ar­tis­tic oeu­vre.

'The ex­hi­bi­ti­on be­gins wi­th Yin’s ear­ly in­stal­la­ti­ons that are of­ten pre­sen­ted in un­in­ha­b­i­ted, un­tou­ched land­scapes and now exist so­le­ly in the shape of pho­to­gra­phic documentati­ons. The show fo­cu­ses howe­ver on the expan­si­ve instal­la­ti­ons as well as the re­cent mo­nu­men­tal ac­ces­si­ble tex­ti­le in­stal­la­ti­ons that re­pre­sent a wa­ter­s­hed in Yin’s oeu­vre.

'Yin’s works from the 1990s, for ex­amp­le “Wa­shing Ri­ver” (1995), are stron­gly mo­ti­va­ted by po­li­tics when she broaches the the­me of the con­se­quen­ces of in­dus­try and tech­no­lo­gy on na­tu­re and the peop­le: a per­for­mance is do­cu­men­ted in pho­to­graphs in which Chi­ne­se ci­ti­zens “wash” dir­ty wa­ter that has be­en fro­zen in­to a rectan­gu­lar block of ice wi­th spon­ges un­til the ice melts. Other photographs, for in­stan­ce “The Tree of Par­ting” (1994), re­fe­rence a se­pa­ra­te re­du­ced aest­he­tic by me­ans of the mo­tif and its pic­to­ri­al com­po­si­ti­on that makes it ap­pe­ar like an au­to­no­mous work, de­s­pi­te the fact that it was not con­cei­ved as such.

'Yin has pro­du­ced lar­ge-sca­le sculp­tu­ral and in­stal­la­ti­ve works sin­ce the la­te 1990s from old clot­hing, shoes, furnitu­re and sim­ple con­struc­tion ma­te­ri­al li­ke ce­ment and sto­ne, of­ten in pu­blic spaces. A dis­tinc­tive turning point in Yin’s work is evi­dent af­ter 2000: se­cond-hand clot­hing has be­co­me a rich sour­ce of ide­as and sub­se­quent pie­ces that of­ten re­vol­ve around sta­te-of-the-art tech­no­lo­gy and urban grow­th. By selec­ting air­planes, au­to­mo­bi­les and high­ways as the mo­tifs for her lar­ge sculp­tu­res, the ar­tist calls at­ten­ti­on to the see­mingly li­mit­less­ness of mo­bi­li­ty and the fast-mo­ving pace of to­day’s glo­ba­li­sed world. With their rich­ness in de­tail and the re­ve­la­ti­on of the indivi­du­al parts that are at­ta­ched to each other, for examp­le wel­ded sheets of me­tal or sewn-to­ge­ther pie­ces of cloth, Yin’s works si­mul­ta­neous­ly re­fe­rence ar­tis­tic handicrafts them­sel­ves that re­qui­re skill, pa­ti­ence and above all ti­me.

'Ex­pan­si­ve pie­ces such as “Collec­tive Sub­con­scious (blue)” (2007) and “En­gi­ne” (2008) ex­em­pli­fy this am­bi­gui­ty in her in­stal­la­ti­ons: on the one hand it is the over­sti­mu­la­ti­on and ra­pid rhyth­ms of ever­y­day big ci­ty li­fe that af­fects the collec­tive sub­con­scious as well as the heart, the “mo­tor” of the in­di­vi­du­al. But on the other hand the­se works in par­ti­cu­lar al­so in­vi­te the view­er to ta­ke ti­me, to
sit in the au­to­mo­bi­le and to lis­ten to the mu­sic that accom­pa­nies the in­stal­la­ti­on.

'In do­ing so, the vi­si­tor be­co­mes a cen­tral part of the instal­la­ti­ons to the extent that he is con­fron­ted wi­th the ar­tist’s per­so­nal re­collec­tions as well as wi­th collec­tive me­mo­ry land­scapes si­tua­ted bet­ween the fa­mi­li­ar, the local and the glo­bal. The suit­ca­se se­ries “Por­ta­ble Ci­ties” (2000-2012), for ex­amp­le, de­ri­ves from Yin’s tra­vels, during which she collec­ted pie­ces of old clot­hing from the in­ha­bi­tants of the re­spec­tive ci­ty she was vi­sit­ing wi­th the in­tent of la­ter patching them up in­to an ur­ban landscape that ta­kes the shape of a suit­ca­se, ori­en­ted on the map of each town. In this way she broa­ches the theme of her own ex­pe­ri­en­ces in a glo­ba­li­sed world whe­re the idea of “ho­me” has to be re­thought. Fo­cus is moreover pla­ced on fur­ther ques­ti­ons con­cerning the construc­tion of his­to­ry and me­mo­ry as well as on individual li­fe in ever­y­day big-ci­ty li­fe.

'De­s­pi­te their poe­tic for­mal voca­bu­la­ry, her pie­ces can also be read as cri­ti­cal com­men­ta­ries sc­ru­ti­ni­sing the desires and fe­ars of the in­di­vi­du­al in a glo­bal world that is ori­en­ted on mo­bi­li­ty and ef­fi­ci­en­cy. Es­pe­ci­al­ly in Asia, cities are ra­pidly growing in­to enor­mous si­zes. One speaks in the most po­pu­la­ted coun­try in the world of high-speed ur­ba­ni­sa­ti­on, and Pe­king now has over 16 mil­li­on inhabitants. Yin not least re­fe­ren­ces Chi­na’s si­gni­fi­cant role as a do­mi­nant tex­ti­le pro­du­cer for the world mar­ket and hence the as­so­cia­ted wor­king con­di­ti­ons in the tex­ti­le in­dus­try when she re­du­ces tech­no­lo­gi­cal me­ga­lo­ma­nia and its mass pro­duc­tion to ab­sur­di­ty by me­ans of in­di­vi­du­al ma­nual la­bour in enor­mous tex­ti­le in­stal­la­ti­ons.' (from the website of Kunst­hal­le Düs­sel­dorf)

Including artist biography.
Access level

Onsite

Location code MON.YXZ
Language

English

Publication/Creation date

2012

No of pages

306

ISBN / ISSN

9789881506481

No of copies

2

Content type

artist monograph, 

catalogue

Chapter headings
Yin Xiuzhen

- Gregor JANSEN

Yin Xiuzhen

- HOU Hanru, 侯瀚如

Sensitivity to Every Day Life - on Yin Xiuzhen

- LENG Lin, 冷林

Yin Xiuzhen

- Philippe VERGNE

Presence and Absence: Yin Xiuzhen in conversation with Eungie Joo

- YIN Xiuzhen, 尹秀珍, Eungie JOO, 주은지

Preface for 'Yin Xiuzhen' at Beijing Commune

- LENG Lin, 冷林

A Home In the World: Yin Xiuzhen

- Sarah SUZUKI

Yin Xiuzhen
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Yin Xiuzhen