Yu Honglei

    BIOGRAPHY

    Yu Honglei (b. 1984, Inner Mongolia) currently lives and works in Beijing.

    Yu Honglei’s moving image and sculptural practice take inspiration from a unique visual vernacular of online image database and visual cultures of Chinese cities. These sources are used by the artist and applied with the artist’s sculptural touch. What he is interested in is the plasticity of thought forms and the sensible entities it corresponds to. Such plasticity allows Yu to execute the cognitive leap between the visual currencies as employed by his works and their titles, allowing for a hermeneutic and polysemic output, which informs his highly personal artistic discourse.

    Selected solo exhibitions: 1,7I6[ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ], Antenna Space, Shanghai, China (2019); New Directions, UCCA, Beijing, China (2019); Yu Honglei, Kraupa-Tuskany Zeidler, Berlin, Germany (2018); Flower, Carl Kostyál, London, UK (2017); Swallow Century, Antenna Space, Shanghai, China (2016) etc.

    Selected group exhibitions: Nián Nián: The Power and Agency of Animal Forms, Deji Art Museum, Nanjing, China (2023); Participating Sculptures – Memories from the OCAT Biennale, OCAT, Shenzhen, China (2022); Age of You: A Kaleidoscopic Exploration of the Extreme Self, Jameel Arts Centre, Dubai, UAE (2021); Palai Project, Palazzo Tamborino Cezzi, Lecce, Italy (2021); Lichtenfels Sculpture, Camping Lichtenfels, Friedersbach, Austria (2021); Polyphonic Strategies: The Moving Image and its Expanded Fields, New Century Art Foundation, Beijing, China (2021); ONLINE: Benefit for Women in Exhile and Kub, Kraupa-Tuskany Zeidler, Berlin, Germany (2020); Normal Days, OōEli (Antenna Space x POP-UP Gallery), Hangzhou, China (2020); Condo Shanghai 2019, Antenna Space, Shanghai, China (2019); Extreme Mix: Airport Biennale, Guangzhou Airport Resort, Guangzhou, China (2019); The Marvellous Cacophony-Belgrade Biennale, Belgrade, Serbia (2018); Last Night’s Fortune Teller, Daimler Contemporary Berlin, Berlin, Germany (2017); Cul-De-Sac, Antenna Space, Shanghai, China (2017); I Scream, You Scream, We All Scream For Ice Cream, Fondazione Baruchello, Rome, Italy (2017); Hybrid Layers, ZKM Center for art and media, Karlsruhe, Germany (2017); After Us, chi K11 Art Museum, Shanghai, China (2017) etc.

    Artworks

    EXHIBITIONS

    NEWS

    ARTICLES

    • Yu Honglei Antenna Space / Shanghai | Venice Lau

      Yu Honglei’s “Fat Mouse” looks like a primitive land infected by space-age aesthetics.Three spheres on tripods, each 1.5 meters in diameter (Mud Ball 1, Mud Ball 2, Mud Ball 3, 2014) recall Eero Aarnio’s famous “Ball Chair,” yet possesses the texture of crude pottery. There is also a line of totem poles made of bright green wigs (A Week of Hers, 2014) that formally suggest Constantin Brancusi’s Endless Column. In a work inspired by Wolfgang Laib’s piece of the same title (Rice House, 2014), three metal objects sit on a light olive-yellow block: a long house, an eight ball and an architectural structure formed by a sphere, a cube, a pyramid and disks. Like Rice House, Woman in Venice and Fat Chair adopt the same (non-linear) logic and methodology; they start with reproductions of works of the same name by Alberto Giacometti and Joseph Beuys.

    • Yu Honglei: Fat Mouse | Robin Peckham

      Unique among even this peer group, however, Yu is a keen observer of the translations, transitions, and circulations of imagery throughout art over time. As he demonstrates with this exhibition, he is as comfortable quoting Brancusi as he is The Shining; media artifacts from both end up in the digital spaces of his video. Forms from these moments in art history—and many, many others—appear again in his sculptural practice, for which a deft hand with material molds intensely awkward forms that harbor memories and impressions of culture as it is and as it might have been.

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