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Portable Cities- Shanghai, 2002
Mixed media, fabric, suitcase
Image courtesy of Ethan Cohen, NY
Yin Xiuzhen was born in 1963 in China and works in Beijing, China. Her work has been shown in the 2002 Gwangju Biennale, South Korea, the Second Fukuoka Asian Art Triennale, Japan and the Third Asia-Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art in Brisbane, Australia.
Yin Xiuzhen's work embraces the notion of memory, whatever its form might be. Memory is a critical tool that allows her to examine the political, social, historical, environmental and human constructs that surround her. Urbanization is a seminal part of her daily life and a focal point for her work. Her suitcase series - models of various cities in old suitcases made from the used clothes of residents of those cities - are, in the artist's words "a tangible symbol of the moving spirit of contemporary life". She says that "people in our contemporary setting have moved from residing in a static environment to becoming souls in a constantly shifting transience …the suitcase becomes the life support container of modern living…the holder of the continuous construction of a human entity"1. She interjects the personal and vernacular as an intervention against a growing global culture. Yin Xiuzhen responds to the City of Hamilton by producing a suitcase for the city.
1 From the article by Amy Chang for the exhibition publication How Latitudes become Forms, Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, 2003).