Xⁿ Talk | 尹秀珍 Yin Xiuzhen


“[…] my mother would often buy the leftover scraps of cloth of patch together clothes for us. I learned how to stitch and alter clothes from her when I was a child. It was only at New Year that I’d get a real set of new clothes, and so in my memories, clothing has always been something very precious. I’d wear one piece of clothing for years.

[…]

My interest lies in people’s experiences. I can look at old photographs for hours. Shitao famously said that he ‘scoured the mountains for his sketches”. I’ve replaced ‘mountains’ with ‘experiences’: I ‘scour experiences for my sketches’. I see clothing as a second skin. Once it’s been worn, it bears the traces of the wearer’s experiences and times.

[…] When we reuse materials that come from people’s experiences, we come to a new recognition of the concept of the ‘readymade’. In this consumption, and as I reuse these ‘experienced materials’, it becomes a starting point for recapturing value.


——Except from a conversation between Hou Hanru & Yinxiuzhen, in the book Yin Xiuzhen, co-authored by Wu hong, Hou Hanru, and Stephanie Rosenthal, published by Phaidon


| Yin Xiuzhen


Dress Box, 1995



Yin Xiuzhen at her studio, photographed by Song Dong



Xⁿ: Using clothing to make art is one of your characteristics. Could you please tell us how exactly you utilise the material?


Yin: It depends on the situation. For larger pieces, the clothes are like colours on a palette, so throw the different colours onto a pre-made frame as needed to see the effect before adjusting. Once you have adjusted it, you can then lay it out to find the relationship between each specific piece of clothing and pin it with a large head. I usually hand stitch the complicated areas and take the large simple areas off the frame and use the sewing machine. After sewing the whole thing, I put it back on the frame and adjust it, cutting out and re-sewing any out of shape areas.




TVT-Rocket, 2005


Xⁿ: You plan to exhibit your early large-scale work TVT-Rocket in this exhibition. In what context was TVT-Rocket created?


Yin: TVT-Rock is a site-specific artwork created in a church for Montpellier Biennale in France. It was also exhibited in the Netherlands later. It is the first time that it exhibits here in China. TVT-Rock discusses the discourse power of media. The TV tower is a carrier of discourse power and a tool for media dissemination. Although its dominating discourse power has been undermined with the advent of “We-Media” (self-media), the trend of media becoming a “new cult” has become more pronounced. When we installed the work in Montpellier, we were able to re-examine the “new cult” in the context of the church. By moving the rocket into the commercial building of Three on the Bund, where the Shanghai Gallery of Art (SGA) is located, it has both blended with the atmosphere of the consumer era to form a place of "new cult" and a dialogue with the real Oriental Pearl TV Tower outside the window.



Weapon, 2003-7


Xⁿ: Both Weapon and TVT-Rocket were made based on the shape of the TV tower. You also installed sharp knives on the top of the “rockets”. Is there any connection between these two works?


Yin: Weapon was made in 2003. They were works of almost the same period. Although they do not belong to the same series, I would say that they are all reflections of the relationship between media, discourse power, and our current life.

Weapon is a small TV tower, and at the same time, an ancient spear, with a fruit knife strapped to the top. TVT-Rocket is about 14 metres high. However, it has a fake knife top made of stainless steel instead of an actual blade.



Plushy Terrorism 5, Exhibition View at the Shanghai Gallery of Art, 2008


Xⁿ: We regard your work as a kind of collage. What do you think of that?


Yin: I collage the different experiences of people and the marks left by different eras. When I was a child, I used to make shoe soles together with my mother. We stuck the clothes scraps and old clothes that we could not wear anymore together, and paste them together over and over again with a paste made of noodles to make a "cloth plywood" of a certain thickness and hardness. Then we cut the fabric into certain shapes according to the size and the appearance of the shoes to make the shoe soles. This is the origin of the traditional cotton shoes “Qian Ceng Di 千层底” (meaning “a thousand layers of cloth stacked together into the sole”). This experience gave me a lot of inspirations. By stitching up different people’s used clothes, I stitched up their body temperatures and experiences. This has become the most frequently used means of expression of my art. Life is a continuous process of disassembling and patching-up. In this process, our souls come through and feeds back into our lives to re-inspire us.



Plushy Terrorism 2, 2004


Xⁿ: Wu Hong divides your works of art into four categories: 1. Placing the local life into an international context; 2. In search of the shared memories in the global space; 3. Critiquing the homogenisation of the local power mechanism and the global power mechanism; 4. Reflecting on the control, which the connection between the local and the global world is constrained by. This work (TVT-Rocket) falls into the same fourth category as the " Plushy Terrorism " you exhibited at SGA in 2008.I wonder about your opinion on these four categories.


Yin: As the creator of these works, I think the four categories should be mingled with each other.



 

Yin Xiuzhen

Born in Beijing, China in 1963

Currently working and living in Beijing, China

Yin Xiuzhen’s work was shown in Collage: The Card Players, a curatorial project by Xⁿ Office in 2017.


Yin Xiuzhen at her studio, photographed by Song Dong



 


“ 以前母亲常常买回剩余的布料,缝制成衣服给我们。我从小就从她那里学会了如何缝制和裁剪衣物。只在新年的时候我才会获得一整套新衣服,而且同一件会穿好多年,因此在我的记忆中,衣服一直是非常珍贵的东西。

我对人们的经历感兴趣...石涛曾说‘搜尽奇峰打草稿’,我是‘搜尽经历打草稿’。我将衣服看做第二层皮肤。一旦被人穿过,就承载着拥有者所有的体验和时间。

当我们重新使用承载人们体验的材料时,‘现成品’的定义变得不一样了。在眼下的消费时代,反思消费带来的困境特别重要,当我重新使用这些‘带有经历的材料’时,也是重新追寻‘价值’的开端。 ”


——侯瀚如与尹秀珍对谈,摘自巫鴻、侯瀚如及史蒂芬妮‧羅森泰爾 (Stephanie Rosenthal) 合著的《尹秀珍》(Phaidon出版)


| 尹秀珍


Xⁿ:使用衣物进行创作是您的作品特质之一,您具体怎样制作呢?

尹:看不同情况。大型的作品,衣服就像调色板上的颜色,把不同颜色的衣服按需扔到事先做好的框架上看效果在调整,调整好后再具体铺开找到具体每件衣服间的关系用大头针别好。复杂的地方用手针缝,大面积简单的地方从框架上拿下来后用缝纫机缝,整个缝完后再放回框架上调整,走形的地方剪开重缝。


Xⁿ : 这次展览您计划展示颇具体量的早期作品“电视塔-火箭”(TVT-Rocket ), “电视塔-火箭”是在什么样的契机下创作的?

尹:“电视塔-火箭”是2005年为法国蒙彼利埃双年展的一个教堂在地创作的作品,后来在荷兰也展览过。在国内第一次展出。“电视塔-火箭”主要讨论媒体话语权,电视塔是话语权的载体和媒体的工具,虽然这些主导的话语权随着自媒体时代的到来被稀释,但媒体成为一种"新信仰"的倾向却明显加强。当时我们在教堂的语境下重新审视今天的"新信仰",而将这些火箭移至到沪申画廊所在的外滩三号这栋商业大楼中,既和消费时代的氛围融合形成为"新信仰"的场所,也与窗外的真实的"东方明珠"形成对话。


Xⁿ:“武器”与“火箭”都是基于电视塔的形状,在顶端有锋利的尖刀,它们之间有什么样的联系?

尹:“武器”创作于2003年,它们是差不多同一时期的作品。虽然它们不属于一个系列,但是可以说都是对媒体、话语权与当下生活之间关系的反思。

“武器”既是小型的电视塔,也是古代的武器长矛,顶端绑了一把水果刀。“电视塔-火箭”共14米左右高,并不是真的刀,是用不锈钢制作的刀的躯壳。


Xⁿ:我们把您的作品视作一种拼贴,您怎么看呢?

尹:我拼合的是不同人的经历和时代的印痕。小的时候常与我妈妈一起做鞋底。我们将很多做衣服的下脚料和穿破的不能再穿的旧衣服用面做的浆糊一遍遍地相互粘贴,制成有一定厚度和硬度的"布夹板",然后根据鞋的样子和大小做成鞋底。这就是"千层底"布鞋的来历。这个生活体验给我了很多启发,拼合经历,缝合不同人的体温成为了我经常使用的表达方式。生活就是不断地拆解和拼合的过程,在这个过程中灵魂贯穿其中,并反馈回我们的生活给以新的启发。


Xⁿ:巫鸿将您的作品分为四类:1.将本土生活置入国际语境、2.在全球空间中,探索共同记忆,3.批判同质化本土与全球特性的权力机制,4.反思本土和全球之间的联系所受到的控制,这次的作品和2008年您在沪申展示的“时尚恐怖主义”作品同属第四类。您怎么看这个定义?

尹:作为艺术家,我想这四个类别应该是互相有交融的。


 

尹秀珍

1963年生于中国北京

现工作生活于北京

曾参加Xⁿ Office 2017年策展项目 “拼贴:玩纸牌的人”