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He Art Museum presents Ni Youyu: Dome & Scale

August 27–December 18, 2022

The largest solo show of artist Ni Youyu’s work to date, Dome & Scale, is now on view at He Art Museum (HEM). The exhibition, organized by Zhu Zhu, debuts on August 27, 2022, and includes more than 100 pieces in a range of media, including painting, installation, sculpture, image collage, woodcut, photography, and video. These pieces represent the artist’s creative process from 2008 until 2022.

Ni Youyu frequently uses art history’s conceptual and visual materials subtly to define, assess, and enlarge himself. His deep interest in human history and museology is evident in the bits of relics, obscure pictures, and vintage flea-market finds that he often gathers. These artifacts from the past are given a fresh perspective by the artist through his inventive reconstructions, inspiring the visitor to reconsider. This lends his artistic form a distinct personality and individuality while also reflecting post-production.

Many of Ni Youyu’s creations exhibit a close connection to craftsmanship, influenced by Joseph Cornell and his father, who taught architecture and mechanical drawing at the university. Even the smallest mistake would excite him, and he would consider it to be part of the job or a new chance. His preferred aesthetic paradigm is one that is “rational but not sensual.” Surrealism has given him valuable insights and pleasure by examining “the hidden logical links between otherwise unconnected items.” Although he emphasizes the misleading character of the visual—”There has been deception since the beginning of images”—he is constantly wary of unduly nebulous and extravagant associations. It is this training in thinking that makes his works at times seem like detective novels: rigorous, neat, and intriguing.

Faced with the fundamental idea of time, Ni Youyu has persistently expressed himself over the years using a variety of viewpoints, mediums, and forms. He claims that “‘time’ is the axis that runs through many of my works, and it ties together almost all of my series.” Accordingly, many of his series have lengthy development times, which may seem tedious but actually affords him time alone and the chance for materialization through layers of metaphysical meditation. He has said that his work “seems to be constantly about ‘time’, but almost never about ‘timeliness'”.

The show is held in the Tadao Ando-designed He Art Museum, which was created to complement the context of Ni Youyu’s artwork and the three traditional aspects of “the heaven, the earth, and the mankind.” The artist measures the dome of limitless space and time above with all of his imagination, creating a limited yet perpetual scale.

He Art Museum
6 Yixing Road
Beijiao New Town, Shunde