Yu Ji, Flesh in Stone #1, 2012, Zement und Eisen, Courtesy the artist
How are our bodies impacted by changes in the environment around us? This question is at the core of Chinese artist Yu Ji’s sculptural and installation-based practice. Yet, rather than focusing explicitly on the tensions that often underlie this relationship, Yu Ji (b. 1985, Shanghai, China) asks us to re-examine the ties between our bodies and the built environment, offering the possibility that these connections are transformative. In her first US museum solo exhibition, A Guest, A Host, A Ghost, OCMA presents the first ten works in her ongoing series Flesh in Stone (2012–ongoing), where different-sized cement casts of the human body are presented in fragments, as parts of a larger whole. Alongside these intimate cement works, the exhibition includes three of her Refined Still Life lithographs (all 2020)—ghostly, fugitive images of landscapes printed onto curved plates of stainless steel. Fragmented and abstracted, Yu Ji’s works seem to have come from the past while being reminiscent of a world still coming into being. Combined with a new work created in response to the curved architecture of OCMA’s Mezzanine and Landing Galleries, A Guest, A Host, A Ghost explores the interwoven relationship between the body, nature, and the built environment, asking us to think deeply about what it takes to occupy a physical form today.
Yu Ji: A Guest, A Host, A Ghost is organized by Courtenay Finn, Chief Curator, with Ziying Duan, Assistant Curator