Ren Ri is a young artist from China. He was born in 1984 and graduated from China Central Academy of Fine Arts. He is a PhD, an artist and a beekeeper who communicates with nature and lives in harmony with bees. He gets inspiration from bees and his works are fantastic and unique. As a diligent explorer in the hubbub of the art world, Ren Ri’s excellent works arouse people’s multi-dimensional thoughts and brand new reflections over the world, the creature, nature, space and time.
His works are now exhibited in Hong Kong and it’s the first large-scale exhibition of his works. Exhibition venue and period are as follows:
2015年3月11日–2015 年4月12日 每日 下午12时－晚上8时
Hong Kong SOHO Gallery Current Exhibition
Ren Ri: Yuansu Projects
10 March 2015, 12 pm -9 pm
11 March 2015 – 12 April 2015
Extended hours during ABHK:
13 March 2015 – 17 March 2015, 9 am – 9 pm
Monday to Sunday, 12 pm – 8 pm
作品视频 VIDEO ↓↓ 建议选择超清
I cooperate with bees to create art works” Yuansu series”. Yuansu I, which takes the form of a relief sculpture, is my earliest work. Yuansu II, which builds in acrylic boxes, is the art work I cooperated with bees in a highly aligned relationship. Yuansu III is a performance art which my body interacted with bees.
在视频“元塑III +2” 的影像中，蜂群由蜂王（重心）的引领逐渐穿越我横在地面的身体，此时我横在地面的身体抽象为“l”（竖线）引申为是一种阻挡和干扰，蜂群的穿越则演绎了另一方向的“—”（横线）与我身体的交叉与跨越，构成“+”的交叉与穿越后新的形态，是两种“力”共生的结果，以此形成“ ”符号。
In the video ”Yuansu III +2”, worker bees follow their queen (gravity) and move across my body, which is lying flat on the ground. Here, my body intervenes with the bees’ activities, and can be read as a symbol like “l”, while the route of the bees crawling over my body is like “—”. These two symbols form a cross “+”, representing a new form of space when two power sources meet and influence each other. This is also where my symbol (pictured above) comes from.
作品视频 VIDEO ↓↓ 建议选择超清
The symbolic form “+” is either achieved in “Yuansu II series” piece where actually has a transparent cross has in the center of the box, or it is achieved in the video when the bees move across the body. The forms of the human body and bees interact with each other, while the directions of their movements intersect in the space. The duality of interaction between the body and the bees is not simply in the physical sense; more importantly, it hints at an interrelated force and its counterforce.
In the daily works, I spend almost 70% of my working time with the bees and I have gained a thorough knowledge of the activities and habits of these creatures and the bees get familiar with myself after day-to-day interaction.
The title of this work ”Yuansu” can best be understood by splitting it into two parts; one is “Yuan”, the other is “Su”. “Yuan” signifies the origin of life-matter, which is the prime foundation. It was only as a result of the interaction I had with the bees that I experienced the structural relation internal to the origin of life. Therefore, “Yuan” signifies the tensile foundation that is inherent to life. On the other hand, “Su” means the moulding that is produced when two life forms interwine-it refers to the relation formed between them: intrusion, destruction and coordination.
The earliest work I completed was “Yuansu Series I”, which takes the form of a relief sculpture. I made world maps to represent the variance between between each nation’s topography. With regards to the production process, I first made the world map, and specified its height. Then I placed the world map inside the beehive. The bees continued to mould the beehive, and this moulding affected the original shape I had given the piece, through a process of addition and subtraction.
In the series of Yuansu I in 2008, I was thinking of current global conflicts. While I was working on Yuansu II in 2011, I was more concerned with space and time, relationships between species and nature.
In the creation of Yuansu II series , I realized bees could create more mysterious and most purest sculptures than I do, so I began to abandon the imagination of shapes, forms and images and attempted to return to a more purified state. Bees can assist me in this direction to achieve a more natural way to generate sculptures that I changed the gravity direction of the honeycomb every seven days by rotating the box on a different side. In the whole Yuansu series, I try to eliminate the subjectivity and absolute domination of the artist that the mediation of bees cooperated with artist can be seen as a kind of relationship between human and nature.
As I see it, the building process requires constructing in an upwards direction: that is, during this course of events, man battles against gravity in order to build upwards. As for the bees, on the other hand, their way of building is a downward process: that is, they do not challenge the force of gravity, but build their beehive in accordance with gravity, which points downwards, and I find this thought very interesting.
This is my taste of the lifestyle of a beekeeper, an actual experience of this process, placing myself in the midst of something wild in order to experience the process of a beekeeper’s daily work…For all intents and purposes, I wanted to truly experience art in this way, and to view the world in a new method, different from the past. Through the process of keeping bees, as if the bees were a pair of glasses, I saw, and I extrapolated a system of symbols from them. I feel this says something about the sort of relation we should have with nature.