ShanghART Shanghai is delighted to present Shi Yong’s solo exhibition, "Turning Inward, Until Disappearing". This exhibition is the 3rd solo exhibition of the artist in ShanghART gallery. Shi Yong has always been pursuing the experimentation in artistic creation, which is prominently manifested in his speculative use of Chinese characters, words, texts, and concepts. With this inspiration, he created a large number of works that have been influential both in the national and global art world. The exhibition will present his new series of conceptual sculptures and installations, highlighting his breakthroughs in text and material.
Shi Yong is known as the master of simplicity. His work is a poetics of concise writing, with a distinctive style and inimitable recognition. Over the years, he has insisted on condensing the extremely rich concept and plastic appeal into his works: Shi Yong values concise form rather than tediousness, and prizes touchability of the content rather than meaningless correct words.
Since the outbreak of the Covid-19 epidemic in 2020, the entire world has become closed and compartmentalised. In Shi Yong's view, the enclosed interior can no longer be seen clearly, like a labyrinth, and each closed interior is filled with the fact that individuals are pulled and shaped by various forces in the system. This exhibition can thus be seen as a certain kind of "stress response" to the changes and stimuli of the external environment, as well as a personal redigestion and reprocessing of this " stress response". The imagery of the labyrinth not only exists as a narrative method – just like a detective novel – but also the result of Shi Yong's deliberately obfuscating his thinking and expression. The title of the exhibition " Turning Inward, Until Disappearing" is both a summary of the form of the work and a refinement and metaphor for the reality.
About the artist Shi Yong was born in Shanghai in 1963. He graduated from the Fine Arts Department of Shanghai Light Industrial School. He now resides and works in Shanghai. Shi Yong is a representative figure of contemporary Chinese artists who first started working with installation and video media. Since 1993, his works have been widely exhibited both in China and abroad. His earliest artistic practices focused on revealing the subtlety of our reality and the inherent tension of the "system". Since the end of 1990s, Shi began focusing on the idea of Shanghai’s transformations under the Chinese economic reform, which contributed to a discussion of globalization and consumerism. Since 2006, with the work "Sorry, There will be no Documenta in 2007", he turned his attention to the art world itself, pondering how to provide a more rational perspective through his creative works. Shi Yong’s 2015 solo exhibition "Let All Potential Be Internally Resolved Using Beautiful Form" continues his artistic practice, disclosing his intention to expand the reflection and practice of “control” under the seemingly “abstract” future.