Ni Haifeng

NI HAIFENG cv 2010 

Self portrait as part of the porcelain trade history (75 x 62,5 cm – ed 10) (120x 100 cm- ed3), 2004

Of The Departure and the Arrival, installation (2006)

Of The Departure and the Arrival, installation detail (2006)

Les fleur Du Mal (2009) edition of 3 (126x 155cm)

Hs code 640399 (2007)35x 60 cm

Vive la difference installation (2008)

NI HAIFENG cv 2010

Artist website

RECENT SHOW: Vive La Difference, January 2010

Ni Haifeng’s practice stems from an interest in cultural systems of return, exchange, language and production. Through mediums of photography, video and installations, Ni explores the simultaneous creation and obliteration of meaning while drawing attention to the cyclical movements of people, products and goods that are often reflective of patterns of colonialism and globalization. Aims to subvert the status quo and counteract preconceived notions of art are, in Ni’s words, an effort towards reaching a ‘zero degree of meaning’. The concept of uselessness, seen in the desire to offset ‘the production of the useful’ that is central to the operative conditions of consumerism and the ‘dominant economic order’, plays a key role within Ni’s practice, lending his works a distinct political and social dimension.In the last several years, overt and covert references to manufacturing and production have formed recurring themes within Ni’s artistic practice. Of the Departure and the Arrival (2005) is a project Ni undertook in the Dutch city of Delft, a place that has long been synonymous for its porcelain industry owing to its history in the import/export trade with China during the 17th and 18th centuries (it was the former site of the VOC or Dutch East Indies Trading Company).

Utilizing everyday objects donated by the citizens of Delft, Ni contracted with a factory in Jingdezhen to make molds and produce porcelain copies of the items in blue-and-white underglaze style characteristic of Delftware. These objects were subsequently packed and transported back to Delft via ocean liner and exhibited in a sprawling display that included their shipping cartons and in later installations, wooden shipping pallets. Ni’s project in Delft rests on a variety of trajectories, from histories of trade and import/export between Europe and China, to porcelain ceramics as signifiers of Chinese heritage, to the contemporary elucidation of movement, exchange and the circulation of goods in the global economy. His involvement with the community of Delft is yet another dimension, one that brings in aspects of collectivity and interactions from participants-viewers. Before immigrating to Europe in the 1990’s, Ni Haifeng graduated from the Zhejiang Academy of Fine Arts (now the China Academy of Art) in Hangzhou in 1986, Ni joined Red 70%, Black 25% and White 5% - a group of artists working with conceptual art and nonsense text. These early works focused on acts of writing, re-appropriations and deconstructed forms of language. Excerpt from On Para-Production by Pauline J. Yao, Pauline. J. Yao (ed) Ni Haifeng – Para-Production, Hong Kong (Timezone 8) 2009