Born 1989, Shangrao, Jiangxi

Hand-cutting, shaping and sanding the hundreds of objects in the dark tableau Grinding (2013-16) was a three-year-long exercise in “insanity”, Yang Mushi says. He undertook it as a way to examine his place in a larger insanity: Chinese society. The neatly arrayed shapes speak of isolation, anger, pointless rules and grinding toil. But over the months of labour, the artist’s feelings changed. For all its hard edges and barbaric spikes, his meaningless anti-landscape has an air of harmony and calm. You can view a video interview with Yang Mushi here.

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