He Xiangyu’s art practice could be seen as a proving ground or a laboratory of materials and concepts, in which he investigates and engages with a variety of personal, social and political subjects. Grown up from a dramatic period of rapid urbanization in China, He’s practice is centered on representing or manipulating cognitve senses through transformation between different materials.
Through a radical physical transformation, his “Coca-Cola Project” (2009-2012) embodies the two essential concepts of everyday life: production and consumption. From a drinkable liquid to the cooked residue, the refreshing stimulation caused by the sparkling liquid is translated into a solid state. In his “Tank Project” (2011-2013), He Xiangyu explored further the concepts of material and time. Similar to the “Coca-Cola Project”, the “Tank Project” also relies on coordination in time-consuming manual labour. Since the “Palate Project” (2012-ongoing), He Xiangyu has begun to focus on individual experiences. The “Palate Project”explores from a synaesthetic dimension, represents the tangible perception in visual forms. Based on three-year-long investigation and practice, the 20 sets of paintings on paper and 1 set of bronze sculptures reproduce the sensation of using one’s tongue to touch the roof of the mouth. The video installation “Turtle, Lion and Bear”(2015) leads the audience into a space of universal corporal sensations, seeking a common ground of esthesis and the remained posibilities after the cultural identities have been stripped.
He Xiangyu’s works have been collected by the Rubell Family Collection (Miami, USA), Kunstmuseum Bern (Bern, Switzerland), François Pinault Collection (France), White Rabbit Gallery (Sydney, Australia), Domus Collection (New York, USA), Boros Collection (Berlin, Germany), Long Museum (Shanghai, China), Stiftung Mercator (Essen, Germany), M Woods Gallery (Beijing, China) and the Si Shang Art Museum (Beijing, China).
He Xiangyu is represented by Whitecube