artist / participant

press release

Galerie Urs Meile is delighted to announce the opening of Yan Xing’s (*1986 in Chongqing, China) solo exhibition, Nuit et brouillard, at the Lucerne gallery. This exhibition will feature a series of new works in a variety of different media, including installation, photography, space, and design, that explore the many layers of negativity through the process of artistic language.

Yan Xing has always had a keen interest in the mechanisms of how histories and canons are built, and the divergent histories of the modern exhibition form are woven through a number of his works. One series of photographs, The Story of Shame (2015), for example, is about shame and its related emotions: disgrace, humiliation, embarrassment, cowardice, and shyness. Those photographs are obstructed so accurately that they reveal implicitly inept, anti-expressive tendencies. If art were a machine, then these hidden, downward-moving, tragic features would be this machine’s lubricant.

Looking back at his past artistic practice, Yan Xing has appropriated Western classics more than once. The reconstruction of legitimacy has often been the common denominator of his artistic language. The works of Tendon (2015) explore the body in between muscles, bones, tendons, and ligaments, or even beyond them; with respect to the fate of artistry and beauty, they conceal the exact strength of technical polish, artistic discipline, and the refinement of expression—rules that encircle logic. In the collaborative mechanisms in between artistic production, the power of art, and the work of art, how does one discuss “the wellsprings from which art arises?”

Other works, titled Thief (print, 2015) and Thief (copper, 2015) are also part of the exhibition. They are printed, respectively etched, with the Chinese character for “thief”, rendered in Fang Song, one of the standard typefaces of simplified Chinese.

A catalogue published by the gallery, with texts by Philip Tinari (Director, Ullens Center for Contemporary art, Beijing, China) and Sam Thorne (Artistic Director, Tate St Ives, St Ives, UK), will accompany the exhibition.

Yan Xing was born in Chongqing in 1986, and currently lives and works in Beijing and Los Angeles. He graduated from the Oil Painting Department of the Sichuan Fine Arts Institute in 2009. Yan Xing has won the Chinese Contemporary Art Award (CCAA) – Best Young Artist Award and also been nominated for the Future Generation Art Prize, awarded by the Victor Pinchuk Foundation in 2012.

Yan Xing’s commissioned, new performance work, Performance of a Massacre (2016), will be shown on January 29, 2016, at the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam. In the meantime, his new performance will be presented at the Ezra and Cecile Zilkha Gallery, Center for the Arts, Wesleyan University, Middletown, Connecticut, USA, in late February. In 2016 his first solo exhibition at an American museum will open at the Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum, Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan, USA.

His recent major exhibitions include the 3rd Ural Industrial Biennial of Contemporary Art, Yekaterinburg, Russia (2015); Chercher le garçon, Musée d’Art contemporain du Val-de-Marne (MAC/VAL), Vitrysur-Seine, France (2015); Traveling Alone, Tromsø Kunstforening, Tromsø, Norway (2015); My Generation: Young Chinese Artists, Tampa Museum of Art, Tampa, Florida, USA (2014); The 8 of Paths, Uferhallen, Berlin, Germany (2014); China China, Pinchuk Art Centre, Kiev, Ukraine (2013); 28 Chinese, Rubell Family Collection, Miami, Florida, USA (2013); ON | OFF: China’s Young Artists in Concept and Practice, Ullens Center for Contemporary Art (UCCA), Beijing, China (2013); Yan Xing, Chinese Arts Centre, Manchester, UK (2012); Unfinished Country: New Video From China, Contemporary Arts Museum Houston (CAMH), Houston, Texas, USA (2012); 3rd Moscow International Biennale for Young Art, Central House of Artists (CHA), Moscow, Russia (2012); 7th Shenzhen Sculpture Biennale, OCT Contemporary Art Terminal (OCAT), Shenzhen, China (2012).Yan Xing’s works are collected by museums and public institutions, including the Erlenmeyer Foundation, the Rubell Family Collection, the M+ Museum for Visual Culture, and the Kadist Art Foundation.