Yan Xing: Recent Works
Exhibition in Beijing: 21.9.–3.11.2013
Opening: Saturday, September 21, 4–7pm
Galerie Urs Meile Beijing is pleased to present Recent Works, the largest ever solo exhibition of artist Yan
Xing. The exhibition features four of the artist’s recent projects, all of which are complex, imbued with
a range of sources and references from art, history, politics and literature, and presents the artist as a
rather strong character.
Yan Xing is known as one of the most eye-catching emerging artists in the Chinese contemporary art
scene, with multi-layered “projects” encapsulating media such as performance, video, photography and
installation. Through abundantly intensive study of art history, the artist has attained an artistic narrative
with its own logic. Art history is always partly abstracted, reconstructed and generated under the artist’s
“unique system of integration”, which updates our definition of art and our power to distinguish between
Dirty Art (2013) provides audiences with a grand visual buffet, and draws inspiration from
Edward Hopper’s (1882-1967) iconic painting Drug Store (1927). The pharmacy-like construction displays
9 monitors playing videos related to the Chinese expression for Diarrhea – “Xie”, embodying the
artist’s understanding of re-interpretation.
In Lenin in 1918 (2013), which encompasses a variety of media, the artist embarks on his most
challenging artistic exploration ever. The artist draws on his original abstraction of art history in combination
with a mastery of reconstruction, rearrangement and reshaping to create an obscure period of
history that in fact never existed.
Two videos, three photographs, several related masterpieces, and American art (2013), unfolded by
several striking b/w photographs extoling acts of “violence” and “sex”, “capture” and “enslavement”,
reveals the artist’s endeavor towards multi-layered artistic narrative. This work also shares his own understanding
of the “United States – the core theme of contemporary art” in his eyes in the very strict sense.
The Collectress (2013) ushers in a new project wherein the artist follows the female artist Duan
Jianyu (*1970, lives and works in Guangzhou, China) and embarks upon an enigmatic journey this year to
the new countryside within the context of China’s urbanization process. This unconventional work of
performance art further investigates the complex relationship subsisting between the world that we live in
and narrative art, marking the artist’s endeavor towards an even, open field in terms of “thematic creation”.
A fully illustrated catalogue containing an interview between Yan Xing and the acclaimed curator
Hans Ulrich Obrist will accompany the exhibition. The artist will give a tour of the exhibition in the
gallery at 5.30pm on the opening day. In addition, a talk by Yan Xing will be held at UCCA at 5pm on
September 28, during which he will share with the audience his artistic practices over recent years.
Yan Xing was born in Chongqing in 1986, and currently lives and works in Beijing, China and Los Angeles,
USA. He graduated from the Oil Painting Department of Sichuan Fine Arts Institute in 2009. Yan Xing
has won the Chinese Contemporary Art Award (CCAA) – Best Young Artist Award and also received a
nomination for Future Generation Art Prize by the Victor Pinchuk Foundation in 2012. His recent major
exhibitions include: Building Bridges – Zeitgenössische Kunst aus China, Wolfsberg, Ermatingen, Switzerland
(2013); 2012 Future Generation Art Prize, Collateral Event of the 55th Venice Biennale, Palazzo Contarini
Polignac, Venice, Italy (2013); China China, PinchukArtCentre, Kiev, Ukraine (2013); ON | OFF: China’s
Young Artists in Concept and Practice, Ullens Center for Contemporary Art (UCCA), Beijing, China; Yan
Xing, Chinese Arts Centre, Manchester, UK (2012); Unfinished Country: New Video From China, Contemporary
Arts Museum Houston (CAMH), Houston, USA (2012); The III Moscow International Biennale for
Young Art, Central House of Artists (CHA), Moscow, Russia (2012); The Seventh Shenzhen Sculpture
Biennale, OCT Contemporary Art Terminal (OCAT), Shenzhen, China (2012). His works have also been
collected by: the Rubell Family Collection, Miami, USA; M+ Museum for Visual Culture, Hong Kong;
and the Kadist Art Foundation, Paris, France.