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Building Opposite Building | ZHANG Ruyi

Duration: 3 November 2016 – 25 December 2016

Address: Don Gallery, Unit 26, 1331 Middle Fuxing Road, Shanghai

Opening: Thursday, 3 November 2016, 5-7pm

Don Gallery is proud to announce the opening of Zhang Ruyi’s second solo show ‘Building Opposite Building’ on November 3, 2016. This exhibition is an interpretation of the artist’s recent creative direction, and works on show will cover a variety of forms including site-specific installation, painting, and sculpture. These pieces present the artist’s exploration and transformation of the relationships between three elements – the individual, daily realities, and physical spaces.

Buildings, as the key motif throughout the exhibition, providing substantial traces of evidence for the viewers to discover. In this new series of works, buildings are arranged in tension-filled scenes – tightly spaced, staggered, and confrontational, while stand as silent sentinels throughout the exhibition.

Most of the works on show contain elements inspired by materials extracted from the actual spaces that we inhabit – buildings, pillars, stairs, doors, plants (cacti), and fish tanks. Through a confrontational “face-to-face” arrangement, the artist presents these elements in a visual language that conveys oppression, which alludes to those momentary pauses in emotion that we, as entities constantly being shaped by society, encounter when we are brought into direct confrontation with reality.

Regardless of her chosen medium, Zhang Ruyi’s works usually betray a cautious artistic approach. When she is measuring and conveying her personal experience, subjectively or objectively, through installation or painting, her works also reflect the materialistic lifestyles and living spaces that people rely on in our contemporary society.

The artist’s practice also includes working with concrete materials, which forms the framework for the unique aesthetic style of her three-dimensional pieces. These novel contexts combine industrial elements and common-place objects. Concurrently, her still life rendering of plants on an industrial grid, combined with the repetition of superimposed lines form a spatial dimension that extends to a two-dimensional context. The resulting effect is that of organic forms shaped with extreme calm and stillness.

Zhang Ruyi’s recent solo exhibitions include: Pause, White Space Beijing, Beijing, 2016; Cut | Off, Don Gallery, Shanghai, 2014; A Line, J: Gallery, Shanghai, 2014; and Filtrate, White Space Gallery, Beijing, 2013. She has also been featured at numerous art institutions and exhibitions, including A Beautiful Disorder, Cass Sculpture Foundation, Goodwood, UK, 2016; Mountain Sites: Views of Laoshan, Sifang Art Museum, Nanjing, 2016; WE: A Community of Chinese Contemporary Artists, chi K11 art museum, Shanghai, 2016; Nocturnal Friendships, Lehmann Maupin, Hong Kong, 2015; and Nonfigurative, 21st Century Minsheng Art Museum, Shanghai, 2015.

Zhang Ruyi has been awarded many art prizes, including the Creative M50 Young Artist Award, 2012; the Luo Zhongli Contemporary Art Scholarship, 2012; and the Coroma Foundation Contemporary Art Scholarship, 2010. Her works have been collected by Institutions, like Nanjing Sifang Art Museum and CASS Sculpture Foundation, as well as numerous private collectors.

Born 1985 in Shanghai, Zhang Ruyi received her BA in 2007 from the Printmaking Department and an MFA from Synthesize Material Department in 2012 from Academy of Fine Arts of Shanghai University. Now she lives in Shanghai.

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