Yin Xiuzhen, Trojan, 2016-2017, steel frame, used clothes, 570 cm × 220 cm × 470 cm (18' 8-7/16" × 86-5/8" × 15' 5-1/16") © Yin Xiuzhen

Yin Xiuzhen



b. 1963, Beijing, China

Yin Xiuzhen's work explores themes of the past and present, memory, globalization, and homogenization.

Yin Xiuzhen currently lives and works in Beijing. Yin began her career after earning a BA from Capital Normal University’s Fine Arts Department, Beijing, in 1989. She is best known for her sculptures and installations comprising secondhand objects like clothing, shoes, and suitcases. Inspired by the rapidly changing cultural environment of her native Beijing, Yin arranges and reconfigures these recycled items to draw out their individual and collective histories. Her assembled materials operate as sculptural documents of memory, alluding to the lives of individuals who are often neglected in the drive toward rapid development, excessive urbanization, and the growing global economy.


Yin Xiuzhen, Portable City: Hangzhou, 2011, suitcase, clothes, magnifying glass, map, sound element11" x 59-13/16" x 34-5/8" (28 cm x 152 cm x 88 cm)

Yin has participated in many milestone exhibitions and presentations since the 1990s. Her works have been widely exhibited in museums and art institutions around the world, including in Inside Out: New Chinese Art (1998—99), which was presented at the Asia Society and MoMA PS1 in New York and then traveled to SFMOMA and the Asian Art Museum; the China Pavilion of the 52nd Venice Biennale (2007); the International Art Exhibition of the 58th Venice Biennale (2019); the Elaine Dannheisser Projects Series at MoMA (2010); and a large-scale retrospective exhibition held in 2012 at the Groninger Museum in the Netherlands and the Düsseldorf Art Museum in Germany.


Yin Xiuzhen, Blending Instrument – Ruler No. 3, 2017, porcelain, ruler90 cm × 40 cm × 3.5 cm (35-7/16" × 15-3/4" × 1-3/8")

In 2014, Phaidon published a monograph on Yin as part of their Contemporary Artist series, making her the second female Asian artist to ever be selected. Yin’s works can be found in the collection of Tate Modern, London; Centre Pompidou, Paris; Dusseldorf Art Museum, Germany; Groninger Museum, Netherlands; Mori Art Museum, Japan; the White Rabbit Art Museum, Australia; Art Gallery of New South Wales, Australia; Ullens Center for Contemporary Art, Beijing; and M+ Art Museum, Hong Kong, among other museums and institutions around the world.

Yin’s work is invested in exploring cultural memory and the scale of change that occurred in China in the late twentieth century, particularly in how a more international economy and new attitudes toward urbanism have created environments where traditions and objects are treated as ephemeral or disposable.


Yin Xiuzhen, Bookshelf No. 5, 2009-2013, Worn clothes and wood, 165.5 cm x 96 cm x 26 cm (65-3/16" x 37-13/16" x 10-1/4") © Yin Xiuzhen


Yin Xiuzhen, Wall Instrument No. 4, 2016, porcelain, used clothes, 85 cm × 57 cm × 5 cm (33-7/16" × 22-7/16" × 1-15/16") © Yin Xiuzhen


Yin Xiuzhen, Planting, 2017, concrete, weeds, 50 cm × 500 cm × 730 cm (19-11/16" × 16' 4-7/8" × 23' 11-3/8") © Yin Xiuzhen