ART.ZIP is the first bilingual contemporary art magazine dedicated to bringing together the world of art in the UK and China. Distributed in both countries, it not only showcases the current best in art, from industry veterans to tomorrow’s innovators, but also provides a unique insight into other sectors in the creative industry with an eye for art.
TBurnsArts is currently working with ART.ZIP on Sidelines, a solo show by Chinese-born recent Slade graduate Sun Yi, presenting work from several series created throughout his degree, between 2013 and 2015.
The exhibition comprises 40 works across a broad spectrum of drawing, sculpture, installation and performance – bound conceptually in their origins in the everyday. A free newspaper left on the tube, a bench, a packet of cigarettes, debris, nails, wood, wire and string may be small and insignificant, forming the backdrop of life, but constitute the central component of Sun Yi’s work, running through both the materiality and form of his practice. A highlight of the exhibition is a vast 6x3m canvas, rusted into by the incorporation of recyclable objects and materials donated by major recycling corporation Tianjin Xinneng Renewable Resource Co.
A young artist from Tianjin, Sun Yi is an important coordinate in the collision between the West and China. Sidelines has been staged as a summary of his artistic creation during his academic career in Britain, and his unique study and pathway gives far-reaching sociological significance to the show – he is a dynamic model of the conflict between tradition and modernity, east and west, usefulness and uselessness, passage and eternity, forwardness and backwardness, lightness and weightiness.
Fresh from Wastelands, a group show at OVADA, Oxford, alongside some of China’s best known contemporary artists such as Ai Weiwei and Cao Fei, Sun Yi is swiftly establishing himself as an artist of particular relevance in the international market.
“He works back into the underbelly, retrieving and considering what runs through society, manifesting itself in barely visible form, yet revealing disturbing ideologies and questionable modes of consumption. In a stratified economic value system, lowest common denominators are brought in such as pieces of wood, nails, string (dyed with ink), penny coins, scratching the base of our environment, showing a deep understanding of the ‘ordinary’ as essential and sustainable aspects of life.”
Dr. Katie Hill, Curator of both Wastelands and Sidelines and Course Leader of the Asian Art & its Markets semester programme at Sotheby’s Institute