The material world – Phaidon publishes the first monograph of Chinese artist, Yin Xiuzhen

The material world – Phaidon publishes the first monograph of Chinese artist, Yin Xiuzhen

“The value of a work of art is the value and knowledge and ideas, rather than the value of its materials …” Yin Xiuzhen.

Born in Beijing in 1963, Yin Xiuzhen grew up through intense periods of political and economic change and her art is clearly influenced by these socio-economic transitions. Exploring the parameters of globalisation, industrialisation, displacement and environmental issues, Xiuzhen’s work has materialised, through installations and performances, representations are often playfully delivered through choices of bright material or commonplace objects, semblances for Xiuzhen’s criticisms and concerns of the world around her.

Belonging to a generation of artists influenced by the ‘85 New Wave, which flourished from the underground scene in China to global accreditation, Yin Xiuzhen creative output has developed from a background in fine art to intimately personal installations such as Ruined City (1996) – a conceptual rendering of her unease with rapid modernisation.

Made from a collection of salvaged furniture and cement powder, Xiuzhen drew attention to the sociological process of demolition and subsequent issues of displacement as China’s thirst for modernism gave rise to vast phases of urban development.

Yin Xiuzhen The Material World £

Arguably to date her most notable project is the ongoing Portable City: Beijing (2001), where Xiuzhen collects clothes from particular cities in order to represent that urban environment. Similar strands of collection, recovery and showcasing of objects can be seen in her Portable Department Store (2002) whereby plastic objects have been arranged precisely inside a generic suitcase.

Xiuzhen’s playful criticisms of reality are the vertebrae of her performance and installation work, and through a conversation between the artist and art curator Hou Hanru, Phaidon takes us on a journey of the artist’s background and the creative process behind her vast catalogue of work, which has been exhibited widely and is highly respected globally.

by Stephanie Clair

Yin Xiuzhen, published by Phaidon £29.95 is part on an ongoing series of contemporary art’s most influential artists.

About The Author

Glass Online culture and arts writer

Related Posts