Xiangyu He (b.1986, China)

Though born during the 1980s, He Xiangyu does not fit in with the “post-’80s”generation and squarely contradicts the work of many of his contemporaries. Instead of following rank and file into the passive, materialistically bred generation, He Xiangyu is taking the counterpoint to this phenomenon by collecting the pastand regenerating it through the filter of contemporary art practices. His collection is active, one that re-enacts the past, and makes it exist again.

After studying the myriad historical, cultural, symbolic and physical meanings and feelings produced by these objects, He Xiangyu then attempts to redefine and alter the innersignificance and reality of the objects. The artist creates a dialectical inquiry into the philosophical and social aspects of the Chinese object. Far from the coldness of thecurrent post-minimalist trend, He Xiangyu creates a kind of new minimalism anchored in Chinese traditions. This simplicity is reflected in his creative process. For each piece, the artist selects one material as the focus. He then works to remove the meaningless and visually unnecessary elements in order to distil the essence of the material. Borrowing from the “ArtePovera,” the emphasis is placed squarely on the process and the materials. The lack of an “artist’s touch” allows He Xiangyu to disappear in his works. The artist puts himself above the piece as an active but invisible mediator between the spiritual and the material. Though a very young artist, He Xiangyu has already produced a body of work with an impressive consistency and coherency.

He, Xiangyu b.1986

related artists / China / Far East