The Artists of 2021: Yu Ji
By HG Masters
How are our bodies impacted by sudden changes in the built environment around us? This question animates Yu Ji’s sculptural and installation-based practice, which draws equally on performance art as it does her surroundings where she scavenges for discarded industrial materials. Her commissioned solo exhibition “Wasted Mud” (5/22–7/18) at Chisenhale Gallery in London, based on research from a 2019 residency at Delfina Foundation, examined the body’s relation to the city’s canals and riverways. The show featured Jaded Ribs (2019–21), a suspended, handmade net lined with a black tarpaulin, which contained twisted metal, drywall, concrete shards, and other wreckage recycled from local construction sites. A pump circulated plant-infused water through ten tubes that flowed the liquid onto the hammock and other objects, including a plaster mold for the torsos of two concrete figures, such that the water eventually leaked through floor of the space and back into the earth.