Ni Youyu was born in Ganzhou, Jiangxi, China in 1984. He graduated from the Fine Art College, Shanghai University in 2007, and was awarded “Best Young Artist” of Contemporary Chinese Art Award (CCAA), China in 2014. His artistic creation integrates Eastern and Western philosophical views and aesthetic ideals, and often centers on nature, time, and traditional culture. His subject matter ranges from the eternal universe and stars to the contemporary mundane world, incorporating his contemplation and thinking about time and space.
His first solo exhibition at the MOCA, Taipei this time is a presentation of another stage after his solo exhibition at the Shanghai Art Museum in 2012. The exhibition title uses the idiom, “constant dropping wears away a stone,” which epitomizes Ni’s creative method and artistic spirit in recent years—many of his works have taken many years from the initial conception, to the preparation, and to their final completion. The procedures would inch forward little by little. Although time has seemed irrelevant in the process of making, these works are actually about time itself. In addition, the artist’s creative exploration and artistic attempts in painting, installation, sculpture, collage, and video are also showcased in the exhibition, enabling audience to have a comprehensive reading of the intricate connection between these works.
Responding to the characteristic and historic architecture of the museum, Ni has specifically choreographed the exhibition and artworks according to the spatial ratio and distinctive quality of the gallery space. Freewheeling Trip at the beginning of the hallway is a panoramic natural landscape made with vintage black-and-white images, guiding audience’s temporal and spatial imagination in their movement through the exhibition. Shrine Series in R103 transforms wooden pinball machines collected from all over the world and converts them into still objects that are infused with a sense of sci-fi amusement or religious mysteriousness. Dust in R102 is a drawing of the starry sky on a blackboard, offering audience an opportunity to appreciate and experience the infinite beauty of the universe from a tiny classroom.
Garden Pool is a combination of a rock garden and a pool, attempting to integrate ancient Chinese rock garden with familiar swimming pool design. It makes people feel like being in a tranquil, relaxed microscopic world. Pagoda II piles up unfinished lotus seats to imitate a pagoda building whereas Inches of Time is a work that presents variations of measurement predetermined by subjective perception. These installations are metaphoric instances that demonstrate how the artist has traversed and bridged the history and contemporary spirit while conveying symbolic meanings.
About the exhibition
Venue: Museum of Contemporary Art, Taipei
Courtesy of the artist and Taipei Museum of Contemporary Art, for further information please visit www.mocataipei.org.tw.