Time Equities Inc. Art-in-Buildings is pleased to announce the newest exhibition at the West 10th Window: Cui Fei, The Journey of Transformation.
Cui Fei's The Journey of Transformation historicizes the natural world, presenting found pieces of driftwood as though they are artifacts from an archaeological dig displayed in a museum vitrine. By presenting objects that are beaten down, weathered, and discarded as elevated symbols of cultural heritage, Cui reveals a disconnect between the value we place on material objects and the value we place on our environment. Through her meticulous arrangement of the driftwood, Cui elevates the natural to the same level of preciousness assigned to the luxury items displayed in high-end boutique windows up the street. In this context, Cui imbues these otherwise overlooked pieces of driftwood with cultural importance and value.
More than referencing a museum vitrine, Cui's display organizes the driftwood into a concise format, providing structure to objects that float freely in the natural world – 'drifting' implies an uncontrolled movement driven by chance and destiny. Cui explains that while in the West there is an attempt to control the environment through scientific understanding, ancient Chinese philosophies on nature recognize humanity as a part of the natural world, as opposed to a force able to control it. The driftwood mimics this philosophy as a representation of what can or cannot be controlled, while Cui's precise arrangement realizes the Western desire to instill order onto nature.
Cui Fei was born in Jinan, China. She received her MFA in painting at Indiana University of Pennsylvania, and received her BFA degree from the China Academy of Fine Arts. Cui's work has been exhibited nationally and internationally at venues such as the Museum of Arts and Design, New York, NY; Princeton University Art Museum, Princeton, NJ; Museum of Chinese in American, NY; Queens Museum of Art, Queens, NY; Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum, Ridgefield, CT; Wave Hill, Bronx, NY; Bronx Museum of Arts; Kunstgewerbe Museum, Dresden, Germany; Jeju Museum of Art, Korea, Jeju, Korea, Rietberg Museum Zurich, Switzerland; Warehouse Gallery at Syracuse University, among others.
She is a recipient of the Pollock-Krasner Foundation Grant, the Artist's Fellowship from the New York Foundation for the Art, Emerging Artist Fellowship from Socrates Sculpture Park, SIP fellowship from the Robert Blackburn Printmaking Workshop, and the Artist-in-residence Workspace grant from The Center for Book Arts.
Special thanks to Mansheng Wang and Chloe Wang for contributing the driftwood collected at Dobbs Ferry.
The West 10th Street Window is curated by Natalie Diaz and Jennie Lamensdorf and is sponsored by the Time Equities Inc. (TEI) Art-in-Buildings Program. TEI is committed to enriching the experience of our properties through the Art-in-Buildings Program, an innovative approach that brings contemporary art by emerging and mid-career artists to non-traditional exhibition spaces in the interest of promoting artists, expanding the audience for art, and creating a more interesting environment for our building occupants, residents, and their guests.
Photos Courtesy the Artist.
Next up at the West 10th Window: Lilia Lifanova and Martha Mysko.
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