beijing

Hu Xiaoyuan, Grass Thorn IV, 2017, wood, ink, raw silk, silk thread, nails, marble, steel, 40 1/8 x 21 5/8 x 12 1/2".

Hu Xiaoyuan

Beijing Commune

Hu Xiaoyuan, Grass Thorn IV, 2017, wood, ink, raw silk, silk thread, nails, marble, steel, 40 1/8 x 21 5/8 x 12 1/2".

This exhibition was the second installment of Hu Xiaoyuan’s exhibition trilogy. Much like the name of the trilogy’s first chapter, “Ant Bone,” this show’s title, “Grass Thorn,” reminds one of an Emily Dickinson poem with its awkward and elusive semantics. The works of art are enigmatic cues to investigate the potential meanings of these words. What can the viewer draw from them?

The gallery opened up to a constellation of works from the series “Momentary Place,” 2015–17, and “Grass Thorn,” 2016–17. The former includes five structures of reclaimed and rusted metallic sticks welded into a flimsy tower, a pyramid, and tents. On top of each work, the artist draped pieces of raw silk that she exposed to the elements for more than a year, as if these canopy-like ensembles were what one would stumble on in a natural environment. The original Chinese title of “Momentary Place,” Chà-yu,

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