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Yan Xing


Yan Xing, Dangerous Afternoon, 2017, Sculptures, photographs, installations, oil on canvas, graphite wall drawing, mixed media, Dimensions variable, exhibition view, Kunsthalle Basel.


Location:  Central Gallery & New Gallery

Yan Xing is known for multi-component, interdisciplinary projects that combine diverse media including performance, video, photography, installation, and painting. He has built a complex, compelling body of work that reflects critically on how history is manufactured. Yan Xing adopts an interlinguistic approach to art-making, blending literary narratives, visual art aesthetics, and the complexities of filmic languages into a series of research-driven works. For the past two years, the artist has been revisiting the post-war modern art movements of China’s remote southwest. His research imagines the Yunnan-Guizhou Plateau as a discursive host and charts its history along an axis of Western post-war art history. Yan Xing compiles an interwoven survey of modernities, literary languages, stylistic evolutions, and spatial relationships in the complex geographical ecology of southwest China. On this basis, he questions rhetorical connections between objects, humans, and nature in this traditionally transcultural region. The exhibition will mark the culmination of this research, consisting of the artist’s new sculptures, paintings, and murals. 


About the Artist

Yan Xing (b. 1986, Chongqing, lives and works in Los Angeles) graduated from the Sichuan Fine Arts Institute in 2009. In his practice he investigates literature, history, and art theory, with each project governed by its own self-contained aesthetic narrative. His works explore the complex interrelations between grand themes of negativity, resistance, and order throughout history. Yan Xing has exhibited and performed extensively in venues such as the Kunsthalle Basel; Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; Rubell Family Collection, Miami; Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum, East Lansing; Contemporary Arts Museum Houston; Institut d’Art Contemporain, Villeurbanne; Musée d’Art Contemporain du Val-de-Marne, Vitry-sur-Seine; and Tromsø Kunstforening;. In 2012, he won the Chinese Contemporary Art Award for Best Young Artist; that year, he also received a nomination for the Future Generation Art Prize from the Pinchuk Art Centre.