Residency location: Basel
Partner organization: Atelier Mondial
Yan Xing was born in Chongqing in 1986, and currently lives and works in Los Angeles and Beijing. He graduated from Sichuan Fine Arts Institute in 2009. In 2012, Yan Xing won the Chinese Contemporary Art Award for Best Young Artist; in the same year, he also received a nomination for the Future Generation Art Prize from the Pinchuk Art Centre.
Yan Xing is known for his multi-component, interdisciplinary projects that combine diverse media such as performance, video, photography, installation and painting. Yan Xing has built a complex, compelling body of work that reflects critically on how history is manufactured today. Through the intensive investigation of literature, history, and art theory, he has worked out an artistic narrative governed by its own logic. His works circulate around large themes such as negativity, resistance, and order, exploring their complex interrelations.
Yan Xing has exhibited and performed extensively, at venues such as Kunsthalle Basel; Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam; Rubell Family Collection, Miami; Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum, Michigan State University, East Lansing; Ullens Center for Contemporary Art, Contemporary Arts Museum Houston; Institut d’Art Contemporain, Villeurbanne; Musée d’Art Contemporain du Val-de-Marne, Vitry-sur-Seine; Tromsø Kunstforening, Tromsø, and Kadist Art Foundation.
Yan Xing has lectured at the University of the Arts Helsinki, Department of Sculpture of the Yale School of Art and the Metropolitan Museum of Art, among others.
He will make use of his time in Switzerland to develop on a new research plan entitled “The Future of Modern Sculpture”. During his stay, he will study how the evidence of modern sculpture has been collected and put in order; how these artists developed their esthetic trajectories with respect to nature, the human body, and materiality, and how they dealt with such fundamental questions as “What is sculpture?” and “What is form?”. From these diverse strands of the investigation, he will distill a comprehensive trajectory for comprehending materiality. During the research phase of the project, he will explore the possibilities for the future of modern sculpture through paintings, manuscripts, found objects (such as artists’ tools and books). The historical archives comprising the manuscripts and sketches produced in this process will proceed side by side. He believes that the abundant resources from the local institutions will provide him with sufficient research and working materials. In this way, he will raise some fundamental questions about sculpture and its future modes of being. He hopes to reintegrate this research-driven project and the process of this work with the different periods from art history, narratives, and artistic techniques.