Yang Xinguang: Bad Soil

2018. 08. 29-10. 20

Beijing Commune is pleased to announce the opening of Yang Xinguang's third solo exhibition“Bad Soil” at the gallery on 29th August, 2018. The exhibition will last until 20th Oct, 2018. The earliest works of Yang Xinguang began with the elimination of the original state of matter. Competent at utilizing natural materials such as grass, wood, soil and stone as media to create art pieces, Yang believes that the naturalness of these materials is much closer to the original state of matter, which has been intentionally dispelled during his creation, thus reinforcing the humanistic attributes on the basis.

The word "bad" in the exhibition title "Bad Soil" implies the artist’s intention to extract soil from the objective natural state, endowing it with the humanistic value, so that it can be involved in the human-oriented moral system and form an antagonistic relationship between the personalized nature objects and human. The most part of the main exhibition hall is occupied by the soil, outlined by meticuliously made steel borderlines, leaving some walking space around and in between for the audience. The borderlines of complicated shapes are constructed by bending, cutting and welding of the steel bars, presenting to the viewers territories that seem to have undergone numerous negotiations, where all the disputes and conflicts are hidden in details. Stepping into the next exhibition hall, what directly confronts the audience is a stainless steel installation. Many twisted small mud spots are spilled by the artist on a mirror stainless steel plate. The coarseness of the soil discordantly destroys the ultra-real smoothness and industrialness in the steel palte. For Yang Xinguang, the soil is unpretentious and it acts as the foundation of the real world. At a time when humans have become accustomed to dwelling in the virtual world, the soil still limits us, as the subject roaming boundlessly in the imagination, back to the original place of reality.

In this exhibition, the soil has been invading human’s walking space, encroaching and engulfing the people vision. Its existence seems to be unkind, yet in fact it shows that people are already not used to encountering such substantial things. Farther and farther away from the real world, human beings have been losing their understanding of the soil. Ignorant of the existence of the soil itself, we are only able to notice the green plants growing from it, or even merely too fear to see the unsuspicious truth. The soil in the exhibition hall yet has demonstrated the naked truth.

For Yang Xinguang, the rise of the internet and artificial intelligence has led to tremendous changes in our living environment. Prior to that, our perception towards a natural space is substantial, and people and nature are rather integrated. Technology has embedded human beings into a virtual space composed of electronic data. This living space is much more fragmented than before, inducing people to fall into a semi-human and semi-electronic living condition. While providing enjoyment to human life, technology is invisibly transforming the relationship between human and nature. It may be beyond the artist’s capability to judge the results of this technology invasion, yet he strengthens the sensory feelings of the audience, as to express the complex mood on the ambiguity between virtualitly and reality, also the co-existence of both states in our living environment.

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