A new publication on the work of He Xiangyu has been released by Berlin-based publisher Distanz. This will be the first monograph on the artist, whose ambitious and provocative works have brought him international renown. Utilising a range of media, He Xiangyu’s works reflect on rapid urbanisation, and the social shifts towards materialism and obsolescence that he perceives in his native China.
Works by He Xiangyu explored in the book include Tank Project (2011–13), a full sized replica of a military tank crafted entirely from luxury Italian leather, exhibited at White Cube Bermondsey in 2014. For the artist’s Cola Project, launched in 2008, 127 tons of Coca Cola were boiled down over the course of a year to extract a highly corrosive black crystalline substance. This residue was subsequently used by the artist in various forms, including a medium for Song Dynasty-Style landscape paintings, as well as the crystals being presented in vast mounds, and in smaller quantities in museum display cases, resembling geological remains.
The 288 page volume features 400 colour images, as well as essays by Bao Dong, Li Zhenhua, Lu Mingjun, Sun Dongdong, and Wang Min’an and a conversation between Li Zhenhua and the artist. Texts appear in both English and Chinese.
The book is available to order here.
He Xiangyu Tank Project (2011-2013)
© He Xiangyu. Photo © White Cube (Ben Westoby)