2023.03.12 — 2023.07.23

Michelle Wang Yiyi

Aranya Art Center is pleased to present Chinese artist Michelle Wang Yiyi’s first solo exhibition, featuring her recent sculpture series Petriceps and photography series Cordyceps. The artist considers fungi to be a medium in which she establishes in-depth communication with nature. Through hyphae, fungi bio-hacks into host organisms to break down and transcribe their secrets. The message extracted from the host is then presented in the form of mushrooms, reflecting the symbiotic network and intricate system between interspecies interactions.

Introduction

The work in this exhibition is inspired by Cordyceps, also called Chong Cao (Caterpillar herb) in Chinese. For years, it was classified as an herb, as the result of fungi being misclassified as plants in early taxonomy. The artist cultivated several species of parasitic fungi that live on a rock-formed host and named them Petriceps, or Shi Hua (Rock Flower) to respond to this “scientific error.” In the Petriceps series, the artist attempts to train fungi to grow in clay by inoculating them into her sculptures. The life cycle of a Petriceps completes when mushrooms surface from the host. She then covers the mushrooms in more clay to preserve their shape and loads them into the kiln. The body of the mushroom burns out during the firing, leaving fossil-like evidence of its biological existence on sculpture surfaces. In the Cordyceps series, the artist explores the entangled relationships between arthropods and fungi. To create this series of works, she hiked through Anhui, Zhejiang, Yunnan, and other provinces, accumulating materials during forest field trips. Through the perspective of ecology, the exhibition is seen as an experiment in which the artist collaborates with fungi, each using its own unique linguistic system.

Michelle Wang Yiyi, born in Nanjing in 1988, lives and works in Shanghai. The exhibition is the first presentation in Gallery 0, Aranya Art Center’s newly opened independent project space. The exhibition is on view from March 12 through June 25, 2023.

List of Artists

Commissioned Artist*

Installation Views

Ding Yi

Three Flags

2023

Flag, air blower

Dimensions variable

Commissioned and produced by aranya plein air art project 2023

Installation view, aranya plein air art project

July 7th to October 29th, 2023

Photography Sun Shi

Courtesy of aranya plein air art project

Chen Ruofan

Botanical Bank: 54 Objects Transplanted

2023

Stainless steel, LED, video

400 × 400 × 400 cm

55:92 min.

Commissioned and produced by aranya plein air art project 2023

Installation view, aranya plein air art project

July 7th to October 29th, 2023

Photography Sun Shi

Courtesy of aranya plein air art project

Tom Friedman

Hazmat Love

2017

Stainless steel

150.5 × 118.1 × 107.3 cm

Installation view, aranya plein air art project

July 7th to October 29th, 2023

Photography Sun Shi

Courtesy of the artist, Lehmann Maupin, New York, Hong Kong,

Seoul, London and aranya plein air art project

Haegue Yang

Migratory DMZ Birds on Asymmetric Lens - Duiitt Duiitt Vessel (Gray-Backed Thrush)

2020

Soapstone, 3D printed resin

158 × 89 × 147 cm

Installation view, aranya plein art project

July 7th to October 29th, 2023

Photography Sun Shi

Courtesy of the artist, Galerie Chantal Crousel, Paris

and aranya plein air art project

Prinz Gholam

Stone Faces (Jin Shan Ling)

2023

Stone

Dimensions variable

Commissioned and produced by aranya plein air art project 2023

Installation view, aranya plein air art project

July 7th to October 29th, 2023

Photography Sun Shi

Courtesy of aranya plein air art project

David Zink Yi

Washingtonia

2017

Stainless steel

520 × 100 × 100 cm each

Installation view, aranya plein air art project

July 7th to October 29th, 2023

Photography Sun Shi

Courtesy of the artist, KÖNIG GALERIE, Berlin / Seoul

and aranya plein air art project

Richard Long

Four Ways

2014

Delabole Slate from Cornwall

490 × 498 × 58 cm

Installation view, aranya plein air art project

July 7th to October 29th, 2023

Photography Sun Shi© Richard Long

Courtesy of Lisson Gallery and aranya plein air art project

Robert Mapplethorpe

Self Portrait

1981

Silver gelatin print

58.5 × 61 × 3.2 cm (framed)

Installation view, aranya plein air art project

July 7th to October 29th, 2023

Photography Sun Shi

Courtesy of aranya plein air art project

© Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation. Used by permission.

Courtesy Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac, London · Paris · Salzburg · Seoul

Charles Ray

School Play

2014

Painted fiberglass

193 × 58 × 39 cm

Installation view, aranya plein air art project

July 7th to October 29th, 2023

Photography Sun Shi

© Charles Ray

Courtesy Matthew Marks Gallery and aranya plein air art project

Alina Chaiderov

Phoenix

2023

Stainless steel, cable protection tube

512 × 300 × 100 cm

Produced by aranya plein air art project 2023

Installation view, aranya plein air art project

July 7th to October 29th, 2023

Photography Sun Shi

Courtesy of aranya plein air art project

Liang Shuo

Little House

2023

Mosaic tiles

Dimensions variable

Commissioned and produced by aranya plein air art project 2023

Installation view, aranya plein air art project

July 7th to October 29th, 2023

Photography Sun Shi

Courtesy of aranya plein air art project

Christine Sun Kim

A Permanent Tourist In A Foreign Language

2023

Inkjet printing on stainless-steel sign post

225 × 150 cm × 7 parts

Commissioned and produced by aranya plein air art project 2023

Installation view, aranya plein air art project

July 7th to October 29th, 2023

Photography Sun Shi

Courtesy of aranya plein air art project

Vivian Suter

Untitled

Undated

Mixed media on canvas

Dimensions variable

Installation view, aranya plein air art project

July 7th to October 29th, 2023

Photography Sun Shi

Courtesy of the artist, Gladstone Gallery

and aranya plein air art project

Nabuqi

We

2023

3D printing resin, paint

235 × 146 × 75 cm

Commissioned and produced by aranya plein air art project 2023

Installation view, aranya plein air art project

July 7th to October 29th, 2023

Photography Sun ShiCourtesy of aranya plein air art project

Sylvie Fleury

Giant Mushroom

2008

Fiberglass, metallic car paint

260 × 250 × 250 cm

Installation view, aranya plein air art project

July 7th to October 29th, 2023

Photography Sun Shi

Courtesy of the artist, Almine Rech

and aranya plein air art project

Isabelle Cornaro

Untitled (column #2 & column #3)

2014

Steel structure with black resin castings

66 × 274 × 66 cm each

Installation view, aranya plein air art project

July 7th to October 29th, 2023

Photography Sun Shi

Courtesy of aranya plein air art project

Tony Cragg

Accurate Figure

2011
Carrara Marble
206 × 83 × 91 cm

Installation view, aranya plein air art project

July 7th to October 29th, 2023

Photography Sun Shi

Courtesy of aranya plein air art project

Michelle Wang Yiyi

Red Berries

2023

Hawthorn berry, aluminum wire

Dimensions variable

Commissioned and produced by aranya plein air art project 2023

Installation view, aranya plein air art project

July 7th to October 29th, 2023

Photography Zaiye Studio

Courtesy of aranya plein air art project

Chen Xiaoyi

Invisible Liquid

2023

UV print on aluminum plate

Dimensions variable

Commissioned and produced by aranya plein air art project 2023

Installation view, aranya plein air art project

July 7th to October 29th, 2023

Photography Sun Shi

Courtesy of aranya plein air art project

Su Chang

Intersect

2023

Plaster, aluminate, hemp and other mixed materials

Dimensions variable

Commissioned and produced by aranya plein air art project 2023

Installation view, aranya plein air art project

July 7th to October 29th, 2023

Photography Sun Shi

Courtesy of aranya plein air art project

Katinka Bock

Parasite Fountain

2019

Bronze, transparent PVC tube, water pump

Fish: 85 cm

Column: 300 × 30 cm

Installation view, aranya plein air art project

July 7th to October 29th, 2023

Photography Sun Shi

Courtesy of aranya plein air art project

Installation Views

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About

Artist

Michelle Wang Yiyi was born in 1988 in Nanjing and currently lives and works in Shanghai. She received her BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2011 and her MFA from the University of Pennsylvania in 2015. Exhibitions include The Language of Mushrooms: The Interspecies Internet, Contemporary Gallery Kunming (2022); Towards a New Land: Tales of the Ancient Pavilion, Suzhou Garden Art Festival (2021); Project C2C-Melody of Virtual Love, Untitled Art Fair, Miami (2015). She has lectured at Design Shanghai (2015) and the ICA Philadelphia (2015).

Selected Press