Connecting with Nature — Yiming Min’s UK Debut

Renowned Chinese artist, Yiming Min, will make his UK debut next week with a sculpture and painting exhibition entitled ‘Therefore‘ presented by Very Art Space. The show will usher viewers into a machine-made yet natural world including a large-scale installation, sculptures and a suite of oil paintings.

The inspiration for the works is Yiming’s studio in Xiamen, China, which is located within a natural oasis of trees and wildlife, whilst still only 100 metres away from a bustling port city — the juxtaposition between man and nature informs the work. In his own words, Yiming seeks to examine the “coherence of perception between humanity and the natural world.”

An example of this melding of two seemingly opposing worlds can be found in the installation, ‘Untitled,’ 2015, which features a daunting black sheet composed of waste disposal bags, floating down on to a pile of Autumnal leaves. Surrounding the leaves, are logs that appear real, but in fact are manufactured by the artist, perfect plastic casts of their original counterparts.

It feels as though the leaves are blissfully escaping from the prison of the bag, only to be caged in again by the man-made logs, an apt metaphor for society’s constant need to control the natural phenomena around them, even in going so far as to build controllable elements that mimick nature in every way but free spirit.

1. Untitled, 2015.jpg
Untitled, 2015
4. Untitled, 2015.jpg
Untitled, 2015

This idea of being able to humanly construct nature continues in the remaining sculptural works on view. Wood objects found in the vicinity of the artist’s studio are cast in bronze and painted blue like the sky. Texture is also played with by maintaining the natural feel of wood on the outside of the sculpture, but polishing it to machine-like perfection within. Again, man vs. nature takes centre stage.

Contrarily, the three paintings on view take naturalism and forge it with mystery. In ‘How to Compose a Poem,’ 2015, the opposition between a bright white cloud formation, almost God-like in its’ majesty, and what seems to be an angry storm brewing below, begs the question of whether what we are looking at is beautiful or terrifying, peaceful or violent. Perhaps, as I see it, it’s a bit of both.

10. How to Compose a Poem, 2015.jpg
How to Compose a Poem, 2015

– India Irving

Yiming Min ‘Therefore’ will be on view at Protein Studio from 9-14 December, 2015; Private View: 9th December 4-6PM; 31 New Inn Yard, London EC2A 3EY; Admission: FREE

 

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