Poster of Pause by Zhang Ruyi

The second solo exhibition of Zhang Ruyi at White Space Beijing showcases the artist’s newest paintings and sculptures. The dynamic relation between Zhang Ruyi’s personal artistic experiences and the materials gleaned from everyday life as expressed in this exhibition is subtle and contains a tensile force. The artist’s subversive resourcefulness is implanted within the fragmented exhibition space. The exhibition will remain on view until May 29, 2016.

Zhang Ruyi’s artistic creations exist within the logic of life. As described by the artist herself, she carefully observes natural settings and objects in life that have become baptized by industrial civilization. She questions the cumbersome relationships of bondage that are produced under the reiterating industrial model. At the same time, she attempts to give the thus systemized possibilities a place in her artistic creation process. For the artist this is a recurring and ponderously lingering state. From the gently withering clues, she simultaneously filters out the softness and hardness of individual experience. In fact, the relation between Zhang Ruyi’s individual experiences and the world around her is either a realistic contradiction or a spiritual ‘running-in’, or perhaps an emotional restraint. Confronted with these layers upon layers of collisions, she brings the rationality of artistic exploration back to the world of everyday life (Lebenswelt). In her artistic practice she clearly highlights the insignificant objects that common sense would typically deem mundane and trivial.

In the words of Michel Foucault: ” It was a matter of knowing how to govern one’s own life in order to give it the most beautiful form possible (in the eyes of others, of oneself, and of the future generations for whom one could serve as an example).” The various hints displayed in Pause, whether it’s images produced as extensions of the manipulation and mutation of plant shapes (cactuses), paintings that result from the three-dimensional progression between surfaces and the space as a whole, or sculptural works that lie scattered and weave through the exhibition space, all these allude to the erosion and occupation of individual serenity and spatial resources as a result of modern civilization’s rapid progress. The artist uses post-minimalist forms to consciously make subtle interventions in the objects that make up the fabric of her life. One example would be her ‘modification’ of power sockets that support the loop ports of modern mechanisms. Throughout her artistic creation, Zhang Ruyi attempts to strip away her personal artistic language, letting the ‘material’ itself become the driving force. Otherwise, Zhang Ruyi deliberately retains an appropriate distance to this world, occasionally coming to a standstill and leaving behind silence. In these moments of pause, she painstakingly constructs a part of life. In doing so, she achieves a renewed annotation of intricate issues.

About the exhibition

Date: April 23 – May 29, 2016

Opening: April 23

Venue: White Space Beijing

Courtesy of the artist and White Space Beijing, for further information please visit

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