Block title

Share:

About Xin

Baltimore City

Ni Xin is a multidisciplinary artists who got her MFA in Mount Royal School of Art at Maryland Institute College of Art and BA of Information Design at Academy of Arts and Design of Tsinghua University in China. She got Vermont Studio Centre full fellowship in 2017. Her art practice explores sex, gender and politics through humor. She transforms the ready-made objects, and play with her body to make objects, performance videos and social intervention pieces.  "My work is my reaction to my... more

MoMA Arabic Pamphlet

2016

As a foreigner living in the United States of America, I am sensitive to foreign languages existing in a country of immigrants that is benefitting from its cultural inclusiveness.

I see Middle Eastern people every day in New York City, yet I feel they are absent in some way. I hardly ever see Arabic script in pamphlets from tourist service kiosks, nor is it present on many menus or billboards. Since ISIS became a considerable force in global politics, as well as in the conflicts between refugees and natives, many are confessing “Islamophobia.” Arabic script on ISIS’s flag, screenshots from Middle Eastern war news; this is leading people to be afraid of Arabic script. I don’t want Arabic to become a synonym for terrorism.

I first had this Arabic pamphlet idea in October 2016. In the beginning I found an English PDF file from the Museum of Modern Art’s website (https://www.moma.org/ momaorg/shared/pdfs/docs/visit/MoMA_English.pdf). I sent the script format to a English-Arabic translator on Taobao, paying her for $27 (185RMB). I consulted a graphic designer about the fonts and paper weight of the original English version, and rented Neue Helvetica Arabic on Skyfonts, paying $7.99 for one month’s use. I then copied the original layout but reversed the reading direction to function as Arabic script. The new Arabic pamphlets of 100 copies were secretly put into MoMA’s circulation on December 9, 2016.

Two months later, MoMA made an effort to showcase work by artists from countries on Trump’s banned immigration list. MoMA “affirmed the ideals of welcome and freedom are as vital to this museum, as they are to the United States” (https:// www.nytimes.com/2017/02/03/arts/design/moma-protests-trump-entry-ban-with- work-by-artists-from-muslim-nations.html). However, this act by the institution is a temporary protest. These artworks are the tools for MoMA’s voice. One day, Ibrahim El-Salahi’s mosque will be taken down. It will disappear from audiences’ views again. Is there any long-term plan for MoMA’s stance?

I don’t know exactly how many Arabic speakers visit MoMA every day, as I don’t know how MoMA decided to make pamphlets for current nine languages it offers. I put an Arabic pamphlet in, at least to let people know that a different culture is here, peacefully.

ISIS Cities Bag

2016 - ongoing

American Apparel was a popular brand in China, of which the selling point is 100% made in the USA-sweatshop free. I was its fan. The cities print tote bag has been a signature item for this Los Angles factory. The bags appeared in subways, classrooms and bookstores in China as well as USA. All the cities on it are developed capitalism cities in Europe, America and Asia, where American Apparel stores are based. As people from a city neglected by the brand, my carrying these cities’ names with showing to people is like a worship to capitalist richness.

I didn’t know there were such many places attacked by ISIS in the Middle-East and Africa until I saw an ISIS attack map. All I knew was the media reported amount of people commemorated in Paris, in Garland, in London. People overlaid the flag of France on their Facebook profile pictures; lightened candle emojis for Orlando on Twitter.

I cannot tell an exactly correct answer on nowadays’ relationship between ISIS and USA. People have been doing numerous analyses, speculations and conspiracy theory. One I believe is that ISIS is raised up from Iraq War. They also gained American arms that the US army left in Iraq. To some extent, ISIS is made-in-the-USA.

I changed cities on the bag by all the cities suffered terrorism conducted by ISIS or inspired by ISIS. There are famous capitalism dream cities mixed with lesser known middle east cities. here, they are equal.

Looking up to the Starry Sky

2017

Chinese former premier Wen Jiabao has a poem named Looking Up to the Starry Sky which encourages young people to have dreams:
......I look up to the starry sky,

Finding it so boundless and profound.

Its infinite truth makes me try

Try to seek it and follow by.
......

I used twelve size 2 (240 × 160 cm) Chinese flags, folded the larger stars to the back and formed a milky way (silver river in Chinese) by 48 smaller stars.

The larger star symbolises the Communist Party of China, and the four smaller stars that surround the big star symbolise the four social classes (the working class, the peasantry, the urban petite bourgeoisie and the national bourgeoisie) of Chinese people mentioned in Mao's "On the People's Democratic Dictatorship".

The important part to me is I didn’t cut any of them. They can be totally back to normal flags if I “remove stitches”. I made a surgery of what I hope China looks like—smaller government, larger people. I exaggerated the size (make government disappeared). Under the installation you can still see the big stars vaguely through lights.

My mom helped me to sew them. When she started, she cannot help singing while sewing, in which I heard the lyrics was related to Chinese flag (I never heard this song). I started to shoot her sewing hands in her singing:
…… never afraid of the forest of knives and swords

but now my heart is thumping.

Stitch by stitch, thread by thread

A new world is being born with my sewing hands.

The song “Embroidering A Red Flag” originated from a patriotic opera Sister Jiang. Communist Jiang Zhuyun and her peers in Kuomintang’s jail were imagining five-star red flag with embroider on it when they heard the news that the People's Republic of China is established in October, 1949.

In the new context, the lyrics can be interpreted in a totally different way. “My” heart is thumping because “I” am destructing the Chinese flag’s authority; a new world being born in “my” hands is an unprecedented, anarchist China.

Why are My Eyes Always Brimming with Tears?

2017
spray paint on paper

The first piece in this series is US flag. I painted it on the next day Trump launched missiles on Syria. I changed stars into 60 missiles (Number from an early report. Actually there were 59.) Then I kept doing it everyday as my reaction to that day’s world. Kim Jong Un's nuclear threat; Asian-American passenger dragged off on United Airline... “Why are my eyes always brimming with tears” is from a poem by Ai Qing—Ai Weiwei’s father—titled I Love This Land.

If I were a bird,

I would sing with my hoarse voice

Of this land buffeted by storms,

Of this river turbulent with our grief,

Of these angry winds ceaselessly blowing,

And of the dawn, infinitely gentle over the woods…

--Then I would die

And even my feather would rot in the soil.

Why are my eyes always brimming with tears?

Because I love this land so deeply….

November 17, 1938

Happy Birthday to Me

2016

Happy Birthday to You
Happy Birthday to You
Happy Birthday Happy Birthday
Happy Birthday to You

Happy Birthday to You
Happy Birthday to You
Happy Birthday Happy Birthday
Happy Birthday to You

Happy Birthday to You
Happy Birthday to You
Happy Birthday Happy Birthday
Happy Birthday to Me.

Fashion Remains

2017

After drawing my 44 panties last year(now the amount grows to 51), this year I put all my 162 clothes on in “wrong” ways with saying Coco Chanel’s quote: “Fashion passes, style remains” in Chinese and French. The story behind it is:

One day, I moved to the living room’s writing desk in my home in Beijing. I suddenly saw a small piece of paper teared from magazine inserted under the glass top, which has this quote on it with Chanel’s portrait. I was extremely touched. My mom has been a housewife for over 25 years. She seldom wears makeup or wears skirts. For me she is a working-class person in the home. I thought she doesn’t care about fashion or style. But that piece of paper crushed my prejudice to her. No wonder, I thought, no wonder Chanel is a legend. She spoke out the most poignant voice from bottom of women’s hearts—be stylish, be elegant.

So I played with the definition of elegance, combining the clothes in a inelegant way but making an elegant face and voice. How do you know it is not an elegant style?

BOOM!

2014
projector, kinect, trampoline

I collected and transformed internet meme images and sounds integrating with the act of jumping. Children jump when they are happy or angry, which ability that people lost while growing up because of social manner. Internet is the new place people "jump". This installation can be seen a visulisation of people in ecstasy or air their grievances through parody culture in Internet Era.

Zodiac Year

2016

2016 is the second Chinese zodiac year in my life. I wore a pair of red socks which are for one's zodiac year, weaved "踩(step)小(small)人(person)" on the bottom. It means to fight against the bad guys since your will be unlucky in this year. So I streaked and stepped on small snowmen I made. It was took in Jonas blizzard in January. It's my first time to suffer a blizzard. It's also my first time to streak. I see this performance as a fighting practice in the beginning of my bad year. Then I did it in spring, summer and fall with different "obstacles" which linked up my full zodiac year.

  • spring

    I pretended to poop and stepped on my "shit"with zodiac year socks on feet.
  • spring

    I pretended to poop and stepped on my "shit". *Streaking at 10pm at Cherryhill Park.
  • summer

    I fought with ballon people with my zodiac year socks on feet at Loch Raven reservoir.
  • summer

    I fought with ballon people with my zodiac year socks on feet at Loch Raven reservoir.
  • fall

    I collected different kinds of leaves then extinguished the burning leaf piles with zodiac year socks on feet.
  • fall

    I collected different kinds of leaves then extinguished the burning leaf piles with zodiac year socks on feet.

A Parable

2017