SHI ZHIYING 石至莹 Cave of Ten Thousand Buddhas 万佛洞壁, 2013 Oil on canvas 94 3/16 x 70 5/16 in. (240 x 180 cm)

SHI ZHIYING 石至莹 Reliquary 金筐宝钿珍珠装碔玞石宝函, 2013 Oil on canvas 20 1/8 x 16 3/16 in. (52 x 42 cm)

SHI ZHIYING 石至莹 Rock Carving of Thousand Buddhas 千佛石刻, 2013 Oil on canvas 94 3/16 x 70 5/16 in. (240 x 180 cm)

SHI ZHIYING 石至莹 Blue and White Porcelain Bowl with Arabic Inscription 青花阿拉伯纹碗, 2013 Oil on canvas 16 3/16 x 20 1/8 in. (42 x 52 cm)

SHI ZHIYING 石至莹 Cambodian Relief 柬埔寨浮雕墙, 2013 Oil on canvas 78 1/4 x 118 in. (200 x 300 cm)

SHI ZHIYING 石至莹 Goddesses of Music 伎乐天众, 2013 Oil on canvas 59 x 39 1/8 in. (150 x 100 cm)

SHI ZHIYING 石至莹 Dong Ujimqin Qi Stone Iron Mesosiderite 东乌旗中铁陨石, 2013 Oil on canvas 39 1/8 x 39 1/8 in. (100 x 100 cm)

SHI ZHIYING 石至莹 Shadowy-Blue Porcelain Dish 景德镇影青盘, 2013 Oil on canvas 16 3/16 x 20 1/8 in. (42 x 52 cm)

SHI ZHIYING 石至莹 India Relief 印度浮雕墙, 2013 Oil on canvas 51 1/16 x 70 5/16 in. (130 x 180 cm)

SHI ZHIYING 石至莹 Stem Cup with Lotus Medallions 斗彩团莲纹高足杯, 2013 Oil on canvas 20 1/8 x 16 3/16 in. (52 x 42 cm)

SHI ZHIYING 石至莹 Black-Glazed Tray with Oil-Drop Pattern 黑釉油滴盏, 2013 Oil on canvas 16 3/16 x 20 1/8 in. (42 x 52 cm)

SHI ZHIYING 石至莹 Cambodian Relief Sculpture 柬埔寨浮雕石刻, 2013 Oil on canvas 15 1/4 x 11 5/16 in. (40 x 30 cm)

SHI ZHIYING 石至莹 Stone Tablet in Xi’an Beilin Museum 西安碑林博物馆碑刻, 2013 Oil on canvas 15 1/4 x 11 5/16 in. (40 x 30 cm)

SHI ZHIYING 石至莹 Egg-white Glazed Porcelain Bowl 卵白釉碗, 2013 Oil on canvas 15 1/4 x 19 1/4 in. (40 x 50 cm)

SHI ZHIYING 石至莹 Demon City Ya Dan 雅丹魔鬼城, 2013 Watercolor on paper 12 1/16 x 16 in. (31 x 41 cm)

SHI ZHIYING 石至莹 Reconstruction of Angkor Wat 吴哥窟修复, 2013 Watercolor on paper 12 1/16 x 16 in. (31 x 41 cm)

SHI ZHIYING 石至莹 Egyptian Incense 埃及香, 2013 Watercolor on paper 12 1/16 x 16 in. (31 x 41 cm)

SHI ZHIYING 石至莹 The Pyramid金字塔, 2013 Watercolor on paper 12 1/16 x 16 in. (31 x 41 cm)

SHI ZHIYING 石至莹 Bricks from Qin Dynasty 秦砖, 2013 Watercolor on paper 12 1/16 x 16 in. (31 x 41 cm)

SHI ZHIYING 石至莹 The Desert of Jordan 约旦沙漠, 2013 Watercolor on paper 12 1/16 x 16 in. (31 x 41 cm)

SHI ZHIYING 石至莹 Restoration of Terra-cotta Warriors 兵马俑碎片修复, 2013 Watercolor on paper 12 1/16 x 16 in. (31 x 41 cm)

SHI ZHIYING 石至莹 City in the Sky 天空之城, 2013 Watercolor on paper 12 1/16 x 16 in. (31 x 41 cm)

Press Release

SHI ZHIYING: THE RELICS June 20 - July 26, 2013 Opening Reception Thursday, June 20, 6-8PM

James Cohan Gallery is pleased to present The Relics, Shi Zhiying’s first exhibition in the United States, opening on Thursday, June 20th. Shi Zhiying has become well known in her native China for stark monochromatic paintings of uniform vistas — open water, Zen sand gardens, carpets of grass — that flood the viewer’s field of vision. Her fluent observational painting embodies, and promotes, intense reflections on individuality and the passage of time. “Some things haven’t changed, from the distant exhibitions all the way to the present and the future,” the artist states. “They are things which everyone possesses.” The Relics debuts large-scale paintings of decorative and religious relief carvings and intimate portraits of antique vessels.

The monumental paintings of eroded carved stone capture an immeasurably slow but consistent transfer between physical presence, flatness and nothingness. Inspired by the artist’s travels in China, Cambodia and India, her chosen subjects have been softened by hands and the environment, and riven with the small surface imperfections of age. Carefully rendering these weathered reliefs, Shi’s depictions of ancient artworks intimate the spirit of the imagery that has endured for hundreds of years.

A complementary suite of paintings depicting isolated historical vessels suggests a collective cultural worth and the way meaning resonates through time. Ritual objects for domestic use such as reliquary boxes, chalices and bowls captured in lush black and white, cease to hold their original practical meaning as one now encounters them: behind glass, as artifacts in museums. Viewed out of context and through a modern lens, these once every day, functional objects have new significance. No longer useful, they contain a vacancy charged with exhibitions and present—an experience Zhiying believes is shared. “I wish to face things quietly, attentively” the artist has stated, “I treat painting [and objects] sincerely; I am communicating with them…” Her paintings turn these vessels into small monuments — monuments to usefulness and its reverse, emptiness, as well as the humanity we breathe into the objects of our world.

Shi Zhiying (born in Shanghai, 1979) graduated from the Oil Painting Department, Shanghai University Fine Arts College. In 2009, the artist was the subject of a major solo exhibition entitled From The Pacific Ocean to the High Seas at the Ullens Center of Contemporary Art in Beijing. Her work has been featured in distinguished group exhibitions including Reactivation- the 9th Shanghai Biennale at the Shanghai Museum of Contemporary Art, N Minutes Video Art Festival, Shanghai, Decade of the Rabbit, White Rabbit Gallery, Sydney, and DAS ICH IM ANDEREN, Stiftung Mercator, Essen, in 2011; Double Act – 2010 Chinese Contemporary Art Exhibition, Red Town Warehouse, Shanghai, and Centennial Celebration of Women in Art, Shanghai Art Museum, in 2010; and in solo exhibitions at James Cohan Gallery, Shanghai, in 2012, and White Space, Beijing, in 2010 and 2013. She exhibitionsly lives and works in Shanghai.

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