He, Xiangyu b.1986 / Cola Project - Extraction
Additional images
He, Xiangyu b.1986 / Cola Project - Extraction He, Xiangyu b.1986 / Cola Project - Extraction He, Xiangyu b.1986 / Cola Project - Extraction He, Xiangyu b.1986 / Cola Project - Extraction He, Xiangyu b.1986 / Cola Project - Extraction He, Xiangyu b.1986 / Cola Project - Extraction He, Xiangyu b.1986 / Cola Project - Extraction
about this work
Initiated by He Xiangyu in 2008, the Coca Cola Project plays a seminal role in the understanding of the artist’s body of works and practice. With a stark simplicity, the artwork may lead the audience to wonder why the idea had not already been done before.

For the work, the artist boiled down 127 tons of Coca Cola soft drink over the course of a year, until a dry, lava-like paste is achieved. The resulting organic sludge no longer holds any aspect of its original industrial product or its American ideological symbolism. By boiling it, the artist strips away all the cultural significance of the original product and allows it to return to nature. The resulting material residue has taken various forms, including a black ink that the artist has used to make Song Dynasty- style landscape paintings and a highly corrosive, pungent earth-like substance.

Cola Project calls to mind certain works from the 1960's by artists such as Robert Smithson, above all it makes a trenchant commentary on the effects of western consumer culture in contemporary China. With this work, He Xiangyu intervenes directly into circuits of capitalism, subjecting its products to a profound process of material transformation.

Xiangyu He (b.1986, China)

Cola Project - Extraction , 2009-2010

Coca Cola resin (3 pieces)
Editions 8,12,23/26
3 boxes each: 27 x 35 x 23.5 cm.
3 boxes each: 10 5/8 x 13 3/4 x 9 1/4 in.
White Space, Beijing, China Current Location:
Hong Kong - S SculptureFar East


The Coca Cola Project
WALL art Museum, Beijing, China
September 2012 - November 2012

Example to Follow!-Expeditions in Aesthetics and Sustainability
Iberia Center for Contemporary Art, Beijing, China
August 2012 - September 2012

Cola Project
4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art, Sydney, Australia
March 2012 - May 2012

Tiroche DeLeon Booth
SH Contemporary, Shanghai, China
September 2011

Artistes Chinois / Artistes Marseillais / Correspondances?
L’Alcazar Bibliothèque de Marseille, France
September 2011 - October 2011

Mind Space
Frick Art Museum, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, USA
February 2011 - March 2011

The Coca Cola Project
LOFT art gallery, Paris, France
July 2010

MIND SPACE: Maximalism in Contrasts
Contrasts gallery, Shanghai, China
February 2010


Mingjun Lu, He Xiangyu: Perpetual Order and Material Logic
Distanz Verlag (Book), January 2016, pp. 61

Conversation between He Xiangyu and Yuangong
China culture art publishing house (Book), 2010

Jeremie Thircuir, An Introduction to He Xiangyu's Works
China culture art publishing house (Book), 2010

He Guiyan, From A Land of Nothing to Cola Project
In Sichuan Fine Arts Institute (Book), 3 April, 2010

Artwork History
  • artist origin
  • provenance
  • current location
  • exhibitions
  • multiple

related works / Xiangyu He / Far East / Sculpture