Yirui Jia: Seasonist – Mitchell-Innes & Nash, New York

Yirui Jia, stand shall I, shall I, 2024, Acrylic, gel and glitter on canvas, Diptych, overall: 92 1/2 by 142 1/2 in. 235 by 361.9 cm., © Yirui Jia.
Art Martin Cid Magazine
Art Martin Cid Magazine

Mitchell-Innes & Nash is pleased to present our first solo exhibition with Yirui Jia on view from March 14 to April 20, 2024. Featuring ten new paintings and one sculpture, the show will introduce prominent themes from the artist’s surreal world through two new series: Bouquet Body and Emotional FlowersSeasonist explores physical and psychological presence, change and impermanence through natural phenomena.

Jia creates a new ensemble of fictionalized figures as they emerge from invented scenes surrounded by everyday objects, elements from nature and the changing of seasons. For the artist, each character represents a various range of emotions and tells a story of their individuality. Her iconic bride with an eyepatch conveys anger, desire and happiness seen either alone as an empowering female or blended into a group to show her sense of belonging. Whereas Jia’s astronaut depicts the unconquered territories and unknowable feelings we face in a futuristic world, her skeleton becomes a character of great vulnerability identifying with a distant past.

Bouquet Body painting, stand shall I, shall I illustrates an astronaut and a bride standing side-by-side among a calamitous whirlwind. On the bride’s dress, log cabins and haystacks swirl around the hem while her bust is stuffed with dried leaves, recalling the summer tornados and autumn winds. Flames and roses grow from the astronaut’s body, evoking the rebirth of spring. Each figure seeks to find harmony within nature and themselves.

In Yellow is the color of their eyes, a skeleton stands in an upside-down field of blooming sunflowers while the word “mama” seems innocently written into a snow flurry. The infinity loop acts as a disruptive force of tension like a hovering UFO. It’s a deeply personal recollection of a photograph from Jia’s childhood of her own anxious face, indicating the yearning for her home and family.

Jia’s sculpture, Yooray-256 is made up of found objects which function like a canvas with added dimension. Painted red roses encompass the astronaut in the image and artificial green roses materialize at the end of the antenna, displaying their dual uses within Jia’s practice.

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