Inquiry of the Brick – The Exhibition of the Contemporary Art of Ying Tianqi opened at 15:30, 13 June 2015 at the 2nd Floor of Hall 1, Beijing Today Art Museum. The exhibition displays a number of large-scale contemporary artworks by Ying Tianqi, including installation, video and painting with materials and so on. Some of the works were exhibited at the Venice Biennale. The entitling work Inquiry of the Brick is a tremendous installation of 11 meters long and 7 meters wide. It is composed of nearly a thousand wood boxes filled with bricks from relics of the ancient town in Wuhu, all hand-picked by its citizens. These boxes lie quietly and solemnly at the center of the hall. They seem to be expecting and inquiring about their ultimate fate. Two red telephone booths from the brick collection sites stand by these wood boxes, as if safeguarding these last heritages and holding back a thousand words at the heart of the dwellers of the ancient town. The exhibition also features a special live dialogue session with Mr. Fu Zhiqiang and Dr. Hu Shi, two renowned architects.
Ying Tianqi is the only artist in China who is using architecture as the medium of his art. He kept using the regional Anhui Province resources in his art works for 30 years. The artist intervenes tradition, history and the live scenes with his individual thinking and independent art. His finely created works impose questions and criticism to our society. From his prints at Xidi Village to the oil painting Imprints of the Century and the Inquiry of the Brick, created in the ancient town of Wuhu, Ying walked steadily in his own pace and blazed an extraordinary path of his own in the contemporary artistic world.
Ying Tianqi commented on this exhibition that “the Inquiry of the Brick is going to be an exhibition overwhelmed in heavy and pathetic sentiments. It even holds a very deep sorrow. I cannot call it a joyful exhibition to watch. The problems of a society rapidly marching forward are put boldly in front of everybody. I would like this exhibition to make inquiries. I want to re-create the scenes of the ancient Wuhu in the exhibition hall. This is probably more powerful than preaching in words or making any judgments about the topic. This is what I’ve been persistently doing. I want the audience to make judgments. I want them to get involved and begin to reflect on the problems. This is very important.”
The major part of the exhibition takes the ancient town of Wuhu as a case study of problems in the urbanization process. Any problem of the Chinese society may be reflected in the urbanization process. The change of urban and rural population ratio for example demonstrates the fundamental change of China’s social structure during the urbanization process. This new order brings about changes in all aspects of everyday life. A large part of the problems we now face are results of the urbanization process. In this sense, Ying Tianqi’s art finds a very sharp and precise perspective to penetrate the modern reality.
The exhibition will last until 29 June 2015.
About the artist
Ying Tianqi, born in Wuhu, Anhui Province, China, graduated at China Central Academy of Fine Arts. He currently teaches at Shenzhen University. Ying is also guest professor at Xi’an Academy of Fine Arts, counsel of China Association of Printmaking Art and member of China Artists Association. Ying Tianqi devoted his earlier years to the exploration of wood printmaking as well as ink and wash painting. He created the Ying´s water print technique. His works were frequent winners of prizes by China Ministry of Culture. He was winner of the Grand Prize of China Artists Association, Gold Prize of Japan-China Print Awarding Foundation and various prizes of distinction and contribution in contemporary printmaking art. The Xidi Village series was collected by the British Muban Educational Trust, the British Museum and the National Art Museum of China. These achievements lay a sound foundation for Yings significance in Chinese fine arts scene. Ying shift his focus to oil painting and contemporary expression of art since 2000. He participated in the Biennale and the Architecture Biennale in Venice consecutively for three years from 2011 to 2013. He is the first Chinese artist holding a solo exhibition at the Biennale in Venice.
About the exhibition
Opening time: 3:30pm, June 13, 2015
Duration: 2015.06.13 — 2015.06.29
Location: 2/F Exhibition Hall of Building 1,Today Art Museum
Courtesy of the artist and Today Art Museum, for further information please visit www.todayartmuseum.com.