Beijing Commune is pleased to announce the opening of Yu Ji's first solo exhibition "Black Mountain" at the gallery on May 13th, 2016. The exhibition will continue until June 18th, 2016.
Yu Ji works primarily with sculptures and installations, yet her diverse practice also includes performance, video art and printmaking. In recent years, Yu has been working with natural materials and landscapes, and examining the interplay between physical confrontations, relationships, and feedback. Through experiments with a wide variety of methods and a continuous search to cooperate with other artists, Yu searches for an artistic language that is increasingly complex and intersecting.
Ta Jama, shown in the exhibit space, was a series that began in 2012. Yu's work with construction material is more than a simple reenactment of the shaping of stone; instead she manipulates the innate properties of the material to infinitely approximate the meaning of the form. The Corners of Ta Jama seriesis based on leftover pieces from a larger sculpture, whose size was too great to be removed from its then exhibition space in one, and thus had to be dismembered and otherwise destroyed. Yu took the three remaining corners and amended them with an assortment of materials, to iteratively approach a final concept in her mind through "unending" manipulation. The piece lying on the floor, Flesh in Stone–Component No.2? is an extension of her earlier Flesh in Stone series. Made with cement, the piece resembles the physical manifestation of legs taken offthe human body. The piece's smooth surface betrays its visible texture; the edges of the cross-section on this isolated "leg" flare up slightly, a result of the cement meeting its mold. The naked but indistinct body part appears between the edge of reality and imagination, straggling the boundaries of extended time periods.
Black No.1, made out of wax, speaks to materials' uncontrollability through its relatively inarticulate shape, a notion that is reinforced by its simple but uncertain presentation. The visible marks on the floor of the exhibit space are results of the live performance Improvised Decision staged on the opening of the show by Yu Ji and cooperative artists Li Bowen and Nunu Kong. The actions (activities) live on with the remnants of said actions (activities). Yu's meticulously arranged scene provides for another means to view the performance and access the exhibit. The three performers, during the show, exist in parallel to the pieces in the exhibit; the leftover marks allow them to live on in the exhibit space through a separate dimension.
Yu's modus operandi of continuously revisiting and reworking her art through resident programs and onsite experience has been readily apparent since her early career. Pataauw Stone is a video work that came out of a six week residency program in Kuandu, Taipeiin 2015. The video documents her activities on the Seven Star Mountainin Patauw, as she drags a piece from the Ta Jama series, made in Taipei, onto the mountain. Through the video documentation Yu engages the audience in a dialog about the symbiotic relationship between the artist, the land, her work, and the natural environment.
The "black" in Black Mountain not only refers to the color of the material in the piece, but also to chaos and the unknown. The "mountain" is spiritual and of the natural world. It refers both to a specific geographical feature as well as the its conceptual twin, that of a deep and long winding object full of depth. Black Mountain condenses Yu's imagination into her inner world into a physical manifestiation, and at the same time showcases her artistic language.
Yu Ji was born in Shanghai in 1985. She attained her M.A. from the Department of Sculpture at College of Art, Shanghai University in 2011, and currently lives and works in Shanghai. Her work has been exhibited at various art institutions around the world, including Palais de Tokyo in France, CAFA Museum in Beijing, Yuz Museum Shanghai, and Times Museum Guangzhou. Yu was nominated for the Huayu Youth Award at the fourth Art Sanya in 2015 and will be exhibiting at the upcoming 11th Gwangju Biennale in September of 2016. YuJi's diverse interest has led to theAM Art Space that she co-founded in 2008, which stands as one of the few not-for-profitalternative spaces active in Shanghai to date.
Press release courtesy Beijing Commune.