Park update: The park will be temporarily closed from Gansevoort Plaza to 14th Street until 5:30pm this evening.
Yu Ji creates installations and sculptures that come alive over the course of their exhibition. Her installations incorporate changing elements like liquids and live plants that shift and morph from day to day. Yu’s sculptures often hold a tension between their anthropomorphic forms—such as arms, thighs, and knees—and the solid building materials like cast concrete and rebar they’re made from. Yu thinks of making sculptures as a performative process, as she decomposes the gestures and steps of sculptural practice into her videos and performances.
An extensive interest in the natural living world can be seen in many of Yu’s works. For the High Line, Yu creates a new set of sculptures in conversation with the plants in the park’s renowned gardens. Column-Untitled No.3 comprises two twisting columns whose design reflects magnified images of the Equisetum—an over 100 million-year-old family of ferns—growing on the High Line. The work references the practice of early 20th-century photographer Karl Blossfeldt, known for his highly detailed black-and-white photographs of plants, as well as the teachings on botanical architectural ornamentation by early 19th-century German theologian Moritz Meurer. Drawing on Blossfeldt’s research on ancient forms of plants, Yu opens the question of whether plants are themselves a pure form of art. The column structures Yu makes are cast in concrete and soap, which will change in color and form over the 12 months of the installation in the open air, coming to life as the nearby plants transform around the sculpture. This project is Yu’s first public art commission and her first major project in New York City.
Yu Ji (b. 1985, Shanghai, China) lives and works in Shanghai, China. Yu has presented solo exhibitions at institutions internationally, including Chisenhale Gallery, London, England (2021); Centre Pompidou x West Bund Museum, Shanghai, China (2021); Project Terrace, Shanghai, China (2020). Recent group exhibitions include INCORPOREA 03, Basement Roma, Rome, Italy (2021); Soon enough: Art in Action, Tensta Konsthall, Stockholm, Sweden (2018); Entropy, Faurschou Foundation, Beijing, China (2018); and INSIDE CHINA. L’Intérieur du Géant, Palais de Tokyo, Paris, France (2014). Yu Ji has participated in numerous international art exhibitions, including the 10th Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art, Brisbane, Australia (2021); New Museum Triennial, New Museum, New York, New York (2021); 58th Venice Biennale, Venice, Italy (2019); 11th Gwangju Biennale, Gwangju, South Korea (2016); and the 11th Shanghai Biennale, Shanghai, China (2016). In 2017, she was shortlisted for Hugo Boss Art Asia Award. She undertook a fellowship sponsored by Asian Cultural Council to live and work in New York for six months in 2022.
Lead support for High Line Art comes from Amanda and Don Mullen. Major support is provided by Shelley Fox Aarons and Philip E. Aarons, The Brown Foundation, Inc., and Charina Endowment Fund. Additional support is provided by The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts. High Line Art is supported, in part, with public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the New York City Council, under the leadership of Speaker Adrienne Adams.
High Line Art is supported, in part, with public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Kathy Hochul and the New York State Legislature, and from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the New York City Council.