Skin is a solo exhibition by the artist Xinyi Liu, showcasing her works created from mulberry paper, gauze, and disposable washcloths. Working with mulberry paper, the artist imprints the paper with her skin and hand pressure, injecting the paper with unpredictable textures, traces, veins, and patterns unique to the individual. The colors and patterns reflect scars, scabs, flesh, and dead skin. The fragments trace the stitching of wounds. The healing involves time and changes. Through the artist’s “medical” manipulation, the papers become her “second skin,” with their wounds recovered by releasing and mounting them on gauze. In the series Chinese Vernacular Architecture, the artist applies traditional Chinese rubbing techniques to make prints on mulberry paper using elements from the vernacular architectures in Beijing, such as roof tiles, bricks, and ancient walls.
The artist also creates works with disposable washcloths, preserving and dyeing them day by day and imprinting them with her skin as a record of the quarantine experience and the contact of skin on skin. The integration of packaging bubbles and trash bags with washcloths serves as a poetic metaphor for life and waste during the pandemic. Skin presents an exploration of materials and processes, inviting viewers to contemplate the interconnectedness of skin, time, healing, and the environment.
About the Artist
Xinyi Liu works with mulberry paper and washcloth, which resonate with the thin and silky quality of human skin. She creates works that metaphorically mimic the processes of treating wounds to heal. Through her “medical” manipulation, they become her “second skin.” Like a doctor, she does surgeries for her work. She received her BA and BFA from Cornell University and her MFA from Columbia University.
The artist’s work has been exhibited at the Visual Arts Center, Nantucket, MA; Salón Acme, Mexico; Lenfest Center for the Arts, New York, NY; Half Gallery, New York, NY; ChaShaMa, New York, NY; CAFA Art Museum, Beijing; CAA Art Museum, Hangzhou; China Printmaking Museum, Shenzhen; EDA Art Space, Shenzhen; Olive Tjaden Gallery, Ithaca, NY; John Hartell Gallery, Ithaca, NY; Mann Library Gallery, Ithaca, NY; Palazzo Santacroce, Rome; Euroasian Art Gallery, Paris; Jugendkunstschule Pankow, Berlin.