Ni Youyu

Ni Youyu (b.1984) is an artist based in Shanghai and Berlin and the winner of the 2014 CCAA Best Young Artist Award. He has been invited to hold solo shows at Shanghai Museum of Art, Taipei MOCA, Yuz Museum, LA Orange County Museum, Konstanz Kunsteverein, also at Galerie Perrotin, CFA Berlin and Galerie Nathalie Obadia. His works are collected by Brooklyn Museum, Singapore National Gallery, M+, Hong Kong Gallery of Art, Rockbund Museum, Yuz Museum, White Rabbit Museum, Arario Museum, Berlin Me Collection, Sigg Collection, DSL Collection as well as Ghisla Art Collection.


Since 2008, Ni Youyu has been collecting coins from different countries. He flattens each coin, polishes off the relief images, and paints on the small surface whose diameter is no more than a few centimeters using the tip of an ink brush. In such limited space, Ni Youyu nevertheless pursues the ‘breath’ and brushwork which are essential for traditional Chinese painting. He has spent many years mastering the skill of miniature painting. Through this process, the exchange value of a coin as currency is erased and replaced by the value of art.



Freewheeling Trip

In another of Ni Youyu’s works, Freewheeling Trip, the artist amassed tens of thousands of old photos and spent hours studying them. He then selected the ones that “speak to each other” and rearranged them into one panorama landscape by cutting and pasting the photos. At first sight, the viewer would be led to believe that this is simply an ordinary vintage landscape photograph, but on closer examination, a world of surreal juxtapositions is revealed. In terms of composition, the Freewheeling Trip series resembles traditional Chinese handscrolls. And by juxtaposing old photos taken at different places and times to create an “inauthentic” landscape, the works echo the traditional role of the Chinese handscroll in allowing the viewer to “travel while in bed”: that is to contemplate an imaginary landscape derived from memory and seen from multiple perspectives.


フォトコラージュ作品「逍遥遊(Freewheeling Trip)」は、世界各地の古い風景写真を集めるニー・ヨウユが手掛けるもうひとつのシリーズ作になります。ニーは、ばらばらの古写真のなかから関連する部分を抽出し、虚実をないまぜにしながら、シームレスにイメージを多重合成することで、普通の風景写真と代わり映えしない新たな景観をつくりだしています。異なる時代や地域で撮られた写真から立ち上がるこの世に存在し得ない風景の再生は、期せずして中国に端を発する山水画が唱える「卧游(横になったまま、その地を遊歴しているように山水の絵を眺める)」精神とも相通じるものがあり、記憶と観念的に構成された理想の自然風景を表象しています。


Ni Youyu Freewheeling Trip working photo_edited.jpg
銀河  Galaxy ——倪有鱼 Ni Youyu

銀河 Galaxy ——倪有鱼 Ni Youyu

Exhibition Publication

In collaboration with the curators, Tokyo Gallery published a trilingual book on the occasion of this exhibition with a series of interviews with artists.