02. Artists

He Xiangyu

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b. 1986 in Dandong (China); lives and works in Beijing (China)

He Xiangyu’s installations and longterm projects point up the growing influence of materialism and Westernstyle consumerism in contemporary China. At once provocative and ambitious, his works draw on every imaginable material in their stressing of the interdependence of political and economic power.

He has shown at the Künstlerhaus Schloss Balmoral (Bad Ems, Germany), the Wall Art Museum and the Ullens Center for Contemporary Art (Beijing) and the Kunstmuseum Luzern (Lucerne).

© PinchukArtCentre 2014. Photographed by Sergey Illin.


Works


La vie moderne

Cola Project-Extraction, 2009-2015

He Xiangyu’s display case at the macLYON is emblematic of his most recent works. It houses a black substance that looks like coal and is part of Cola Project – Extraction. The work involved transforming the matter of the products of world capitalism and logging the impact of its images on human culture. In 2008, He Xiangyu spent nearly a year working with workers from a Chinese factory in order to boil down 127 tonnes of cola. The substance slowly turned into a syrupy sludge, which gradually solidified into a crystalline residue. Although He Xiangyu is of course targeting the impact of globalisation by transforming one of its leading products, his main intention is to investigate two aspects of time: time in the Western world, horizontal and ultra-connected, and time in the cultural history of China, which extends back across thousands of years.

Courtesy de l’artiste et White Space Beijing

Venues : Lyon Museum of Contemporary Art (macLYON)

Getting there

La vie moderne

Turtle, Lion, Bear, 2009-2015

He Xiangyu’s installations and longterm projects point up social and personal concerns ranging from the growing influence of Western-style materialism on contemporary China to the idea of the world as a philosophical playing field. He Xiangyu explains that Turtle, Lion, Bear, which he produced for the Biennale, documents the yawns of twenty-one adults, including the artist himself, and three species of animals, using high-speed photography. Commonly associated with tiredness, pressure, boredom or even hunger, yawning can be triggered by the yawning of others and can thus be considered “contagious”. With this piece, He Xiangyu says that he is seeking a common ground of positive exchanges with visual documentation of supposedly negative emotions.

Courtesy de l’artiste et White Cube, Londres

 

Venues : Lyon Museum of Contemporary Art (macLYON)

Getting there



Gallery
He Xiangyu 4 photos
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© Blaise Adilon

He Xiangyu
Cola Project-Extraction - 2009-2015
La vie moderne | Lyon Museum of Contemporary Art (macLYON)
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© Blaise Adilon

He Xiangyu
Turtle, Lion, Bear - 2009-2015
La vie moderne | Lyon Museum of Contemporary Art (macLYON)
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© Blaise Adilon

He Xiangyu
Turtle, Lion, Bear - 2009-2015
La vie moderne | Lyon Museum of Contemporary Art (macLYON)
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© Blaise Adilon

He Xiangyu
Turtle, Lion, Bear - 2009-2015
La vie moderne | Lyon Museum of Contemporary Art (macLYON)