Yan Xing (b. 1986) is part of a young generation of Chinese artists who were born after the Cultural Revolution, and with therefore no direct connection of the social, political and cultural issues that informed the earlier generation. This exhibition brings together important works from throughout Yan Xing’s career, as well a newly created site-specific work based on the Broad MSU’s historic art collection.
At times theatrical and performative, Yan Xing explores the complex construction and deconstruction of artworks, pointing to his ongoing fascination with art history, literature, politics and philosophy. Including works in a variety of media from video to installation, his work confronts art history and its dominant theories, questioning established canons and taxonomies, and encouraging multiple readings and layers of understanding. In this way he positions his own work within an independent context—paradoxically as dependent upon art history as it is disconnected from it—and encourages the viewer to understand contemporary art within a broader art historical narrative. At the same time he questions the place of art within contemporary culture, as well as his own understanding of what art might be.
Yan Xing is organized by the Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum at Michigan State University and curated by Caitlín Doherty, Curator and Deputy Director of Curatorial Affairs. Support for this exhibition is provided by Galerie Urs Meile, Beijing-Lucerne, the Alan and Rebecca Ross Endowed Exhibition Fund, and the Broad MSU’s general exhibitions fund.