Mustard Seed Space is pleased to announce that XI’s first solo exhibition will be held in Shanghai from Jun.21 to Jul.16. The exhibition shows a collection of installations created by Xi in 2014, which she applies clothing as a medium to bridge between art and designvia a unique language. Titled Grand Design, the exhibition aims to call for a spirit of non-action, that is, to remove those ready-to-wear art experiences and to create a piece of art “which has never been done before”.
Grand Design attempts to “demolish” the usual way that gallery exhibits today, and turns the gallery into a display window. By physically distancing the art piece and the audience, the concept of “grand design” in the art piece is extended and the way of reading the exhibition is re-designed. This matches the message that Xi’s work carries – deconstructing the functional design of clothing by means of clothing as a medium. The exhibition is a rethinking of design and a place for indirect dialogue between the audience and the art pieces.
In a society that is increasingly consumeristic, clothing has been considered as a visual sign to judge people, while design of the display windows have become one of the critical means for brands to claim their commercial value. The artist borrows this way of window displaying from them to present her own art work, which not only points out the business nature of art commodity in a humorous register, but emphasizes the uniqueness of the “clothing” inside of it – they do not serve for business value, either do they belong to any brand. They are not designed for design.
During the days of making these pieces, Xi encountered the demolishing of her own studio. Commuting between the new district and the ruins of the old district everyday inspired her to think over subjects like the old and the new, social identity and memory and oblivion. Not only does she pay attention to the outer shape of clothing, but she focuses on the sociology aspects of it as well. Whatever it is the He Hua Chi Nong blooms on the ruins, the Wang Jia Ma Tou like it was in yesterday, or the Still Objects that mark the starting point of her art creation, the re-invested Fashion Legacy, or the shared utopian suit of the Five in One (worker/chef/prostitute/lawyer/artist) , Xi has endowed the medium clothing an artistic language of its own.
Through the window, she invites the audience to look at her works. What displayed at the other end of the window is the old vanishing clothing and the city. Due to the continuous demolishment, the city is like a wasteland that people could only wander around. However, this exhibition is another kind of demolishment that removes the old way of exhibiting with new ideas. Designing in the register of grand is a ceremony which farewells to the old gallery style and embraces the new. By laying stresses on the process of looking, on the interactive relationship between the audience and the work, this exhibition Grand Design is a meditation of relational art and an attempt to enter the passage of a brand new style of gallery.
About the artist
Xi, born in Shanghai in 1988, graduated from Mixed Design, Shanghai Institution of Visual Arts. In 2012, she studied Design Futurein Goldsmith in U.K for MFA degree. Now she lives and works in Shanghai.
About the exhibition
Duration: 21 Jun – 16 July 2014
Venue: Mustard Seed Space
Opening Reception: 21 June Sat 2014 19:00-21:00
Opening Hours: 10:30am-6:30pm (Tue-Sat)
Add: Rm.101, Building 5, 50 Moganshan Road, Shanghai
Courtesy of the artist and Mustard Seed Space.