The first solo exhibition by London based Chinese artist Yi Dai will open at House of Egorn in Berlin on 30 April. Ahead of Berlin Gallery Weekend, one of Europe’s most important art events, the young artist told Artlyst that she chose the place to open her show as the city of her greatest influence, the artist Olafur Eliasson.
Misfits, Offcuts and Castaways is an urgent artist statement reflecting on the after-effects of nuclear fallout, rising sea temperatures, and the fragility of our ecosystem. The exhibition is as much a personal account of an intense experience on the Marshall Islands, as it is an artistic call to action, following the warmest winter in recorded history.
Yi Dai continues to attract attention for her highly personal and sensitive approach to monumental topics of our time. An introduction to the artist’s work by young curator Fatos Ustek (ICA, fig-2) will accompany the opening at House of Egorn.
Yi Dai presents a body of new work resulting from her laborious process-based practice, including paper collage on board, installation, and film. The artist thereby defines the conditions for natural elements to inform the course of her artworks and highlights the interconnected future of mankind and nature. Misfits, Offcuts and Castaways transforms the intimate gallery space into a dystopian test field where the fragile balance of the elements can be observed at the point of spinning out of control.
At the centre of the exhibition will be two large-scale wall pieces confronting each other and the audience. On one side are 63 wooden panels representing the islands of the atoll affected by nuclear bomb testing. Facing these is a 3×3 triptych of large scale ink print montages, each of which has been crafted out of thousands of snippets of Japanese rice paper soaked in liquid, thus creating structural patterns corresponding to the islands about to vanish amidst the rising sea levels. Works assembled around these centrepieces comprise of a video installation on three screens and a set of metallic bomb war relics, partly covered in childish palettes, contrasting organic plasticity with the indestructible remains, both visible and invisible, of political and military decisions.
YI DAI – MISFITS, OFFCUTS AND CASTAWAYS 30 April – 16 July 2016 House of Egorn, Berlin