A conversation with aged bricks

By Lin Qi ( ) Updated: 2015-06-26 10:28:05

A conversation with aged bricks

Contemporary artist Ying Tianqi's exhibition, titled Inquiry of Bricks, runs until June 29 at Beijing's Today Art Museum. [Photo by Lin Qi/China Daily]

Contemporary artist Ying Tianqi's current exhibition, titled Inquiry of Bricks, is more like a case study of urbanization and heritage preservation.

He places inside the exhibition venue, at Beijing's Today Art Museum, two installations that he made out of used bricks dated to the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911). He collected them during the demolition of Wuhu's historic center, in his native Anhui province.

He names one Brick Soul. With the assistance of pavement rolling machines, he grounded the aged bricks into powders. He mixed them with clay soil and reproduced a brick that is 3 meters high.

Ying believes that every brick encapsulates the history of Wuhu and stories of local residents. He molded the giant brick into the shape of a gravestone, by which he questions the necessity of destroying a city's cherished memories.

To Regenerate, the Remains is another installation in which Ying places dozens of wooden boxes in the middle of the exhibition hall. Inside these boxes are thousands of bricks that were picked by Wuhu residents within five days.

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