Su Yu-Xin: Dust that Rides the Wind


  • Location:
    Longlati Foundation, Shanghai
  • Artist:

The first institutional solo show of Su Yu-Xin (b. 1991, Hualien, Taiwan; lives and works in Los Angeles) in Mainland China will be held at Longlati Foundation, Shanghai. Entitled “Dust that Rides the Wind”, the exhibition is curated by Beijing-based curator Luan Shixuan. As the recipient of Longlati Artist-in-Residence Program for the 2021–22 cycle, Su Yu-Xin will present her year-long project of color study and painting practice, including more than 30 works on canvas or wood panel, as well as marked traces and physical shreds of evidence produced in the process.

“Dust that Rides the Wind” is a systematic research on Su Yu-Xin’s material and conceptual language both developed from a geologist’s perspective, in which she extracts and transforms earth and plant, organic and man-made color. In this vein, the artist demonstrates a wild imagination of her lived environment and intensive fieldwork into its various conditions, thus establishing a cross-cultural view of her diasporic identities through the very medium of painting, and providing possible spaces for the audience to read the universe, heaven and earth. The forming of either landscape or map as a genre in the main body of works manifests her subjective consciousness and cognitive psychology of subverting the dialectic relations between the abstract and the figurative. Curator Luan Shixuan hereby offers an exciting preface to the exhibition:

Su Yu-Xin’s painting practice begins with the history of migration, the methodology concerning geological changes and the vicissitude of pigments, destined for ontological discussion of the medium that is painting. Su’s first solo exhibition in Shanghai “Dust that Rides the Wind” focuses on “Su’ao-Hualien Railway” and “Central Pacific Railway” in the United States, as well as a new volcano series starting from 2022. The railroads and volcanoes serve as prominent motifs in the paintings, each represents a specific landscape. They are also mediums themselves, one is a transmission machine that leads to modern time, and the other being a Leviathan-like passage to the unknown beyond. Movement and migration are not only the threads connecting the subjects, but are also manifested as momentum and kinetic energy in the pictures: seemingly static landscapes swirling with mist and clouds, abstract color blocks compressing the morphing of skylight, and brushstrokes depicting the cliffs are sometimes sharp like blades, sometimes sleek like fluids.

The works in “Dust that Rides the Wind” are paintings of medium, and paintings about the material history of nature, where frames and panels constitute parts of the images, paintings themselves are presented as lively objects, echoing with the walls brushed with earth, the riverbed-like display stands in the space, and the ore scattered above them. The methodology of color is condensed in smaller pieces: through the origin and migration, character and history of pigments, or material changes of the planet and the development of chemical industry, the artist provides a way of perceiving color and art beyond modern norms, introducing a discussion of the constant changing meaning that colors carry and the ideologies behind. Here color serves as a gateway to matter.