Yang Mushi, Welding - Section, 2021 - 2022, recycled stainless steel, 102 × 52 × 12 cm. Courtesy the artist and Galerie Urs Meile, Beijing-Lucerne.
“I transform the reality I perceive into mutating geometric forms and attempt to link them together. Through constant polishing and grinding, communities, scenic areas, public art, shopping malls, office buildings, and sudden events stack together into sharp images. These nameless, forgotten, disappearing‘urban fragments’ are once again cut and randomly dislocated. As rigid lines penetrate fragmented space, my universe slowly takes shape.”
Galerie Urs Meile Beijing is honored to announce Reverse Reconstruction, the latest solo exhibition of Yang Mushi (b. 1989). This is the artist’s fourth solo exhibition at Galerie Urs Meile. It brings together Yang Mushi’s creations spanning from 2019 to 2022. As the pandemic unfolded over the past two years, the artist has expanded the scope of his exploration of material on the foundation of the concept of his previous show titled “Illegitimate Production” with his experiments yielding new working methods, forms, and philosophical deductions.
Yang Mushi, Welding - Stripe, 2021 - 2022, recycled stainless steel, 97 × 33 × 6 cm. Courtesy the artist and Galerie Urs Meile, Beijing-Lucerne.
A cluster of metal geometric installations titled Welding–Relics (2021, recycled stainless steel, 120 × 680 × 600 cm, installation size variable) comprises six receding line structures arising from tight turns, distorted perspectives, contradictory proportions, precision joints, and gaping facets. It is the result of the artist’s sorting of various readymade objects, such as foam, fencing window bars, sculptural armatures, billboards, company nameplates, and stainless steel doors. These secondhand tools are then manipulated through such methods as corrosion, cutting, welding, and scoring. Finally, he uses dislocations in form and proportion to divide, isolate and block off the space. The same working logic is present in the Welding series (2021-2022) and the neon installation Distorting II (2020-2022, white neon tubes, transformers, 400 × 560 × 600 cm, installation size variable). By intercepting and refining the images and shapes of contemporary landscapes, the artist strengthens the material forms that shape contemporary psychology, while at the same time, these defunctionalized everyday waste materials are brutally isolated as contemporary relics with multiple contradictions. The intense labor demanded by the work production process “restores” materials as the focus of practice in white cube exhibition space, and as the starting point for reflection on the tense relationship between community, city, and social interactions.
Yang Mushi, Welding - Block, 2021 - 2022, recycled stainless steel, 72 × 36 × 4.5 cm. Courtesy the artist and Galerie Urs Meile, Beijing-Lucerne.
In the work Distorting II, the artist has selected the conventional white neon tube, which he twists and turns to varying degrees to create similar lines of geometric light with slight variations. The white light symbolizes lighting in the work setting, while the twists and turns reference the shifts in reality. The image forms reference text, jumbled code, electrocardiographs, and candlestick charts. When large quantities of products are placed tightly together, tension and suffocation, cessation and error, pausing and retreat, surprise and death are all twisted into a single whole. Through repetitive action, the artist is attempting to fuse means of production, the rapid pace of the city, rushed breathing, the manual labor of the producer, and shrill signals into a dazzling white light.
The artist continues his exploration of polystyrene foam in the work Eroding II (2021, foam, corrosive liquid, acrylic, 127 × 880 × 460 cm, installation size variable). Nineteen black objecs are laid out in the space, covered in holes of various sizes. Monotone curved surfaces, disappearing perspectives, contradictory proportions, missing masses, and interlocking positions within the group of sculptures form a space that hinders movement. The shapes, proportions, and gaps were created referencing building roofs, monuments, tombstones, and billboards. They emerge in a compressed, distorted state. The artist attempts to stack together extreme working methods, radiating masses, and cross-sections of the urban spectacle. Within intense labor and a language of destruction, our existential environment comes under reexamination. These stagnant, abnormal, failed bodies emphasize the artist’s reflection and practice of the idea of sustainable development.
About the artist
Yang Mushi (b. in 1989 in Jiangxi Province, China) currently lives and works in Beijing and Shanghai. In 2014 he graduated from the Sculpture Department at the Central Academy of Fine Arts in Beijing. He held his solo show Inverted Structure at HARMAY Beijing in 2021, Vanishing into Thin Air at Galerie Urs Meile Beijing in 2019, Compulsory Execution at Galerie Urs Meile Lucerne in 2018, Broken Torso at The Chinese University of Hong Kong(Shenzhen) in 2018 and Illegitimate Production at Galerie Urs Meile Beijing in 2016. His most recent group exhibitions include: Symbiotic Spectacle – The Second Public Art Exhibition in Nan Hai, Qiandenghu Park, Foshan, China (2022); China Moments, Tank Shanghai, Shanghai, China (2021); I Recognized the World: Born in the 80s and 90s, MoCA Yinchuan, Yinchuan, China (2021); Modern Time, Ullens Center for Contemporary Art, Beijing, China (2018); Annual Arts Exhibition Between China and Portuguese – Speaking Countries – The Universe, Ox Warehouse, Macau, China (2018); HEIMAT – The 2018 Guang’an Field Art Biennale, Guang’an, China (2018) ; The Dark Matters, White Rabbit Gallery, Sydney, Australia (2017); Visual Questions – Young Artists’ Visions and Experiences, Guangdong Museum of Art, Guangzhou, China (2017); Everyday Legend, Minsheng Art Museum, Shanghai, China (2016); Turning Point: Contemporary Art in China Since 2000, Minsheng Art Museum, Shanghai, China (2016); Prudential Eye Awards for Asian Contemporary Art, Marina Bay Sands Art Science Museum, Singapore (2016); WE – A Community of Chinese Contemporary Artists, chi K11 Art Museum, Shanghai, China (2016); No Holds Barred – Young Generation from China, OpenART Biennial, Örebro County Museum, Örebro, Sweden (2015) and Calligraphic Time and Space: Abstract in China, Power Station of Art, Shanghai, China (2015). Yang Mushi won the Annual Prize of “The 9th Tomorrow Sculpture Award” (2021). He was nominated by “Porsche Young Chinese Artist of the Year” (2021) and “Prudential Eye Awards for Asian Contemporary Art” (2016).
About the exhibition
Opening: Saturday, March 12, 4–6.30pm
Venue: Galerie Urs Meile Beijing
Courtesy of the Artist and Galerie Urs Meile Beijing.