隙/ At Intervals. Earth and Fire on aluminum sheets, 6 x 8 x 2 ft, 2021.
隙/ At Intervals* is a collaborative work by Yixuan Shao and Bicheng Liang. It is a set of aluminum rubbings of rocks from the wilderness of Upstate NY. The objects and their materiality narrate not the history of the rocks but a futile yet yearning desire to record their masses, pores, and clefts with our human hands. This project deals with the origin of sculpture as an elastic, fragile and frozen moment that is emblematic of the fleeting relationship we engage in with our natural surroundings.
Aluminum sheets are pounded into shapes of rocks in regions surrounding the metropolis of New York City. Folds and fissures are archived onto the surface of the alloy with the utmost realism yet bluntness. Substrates, the time it took for the inner strata, minerals, and sediments to be deposited into today’s rocky forms render illegible. Their traces — the residual soil underneath the surfaces and burned marks are reflected both literally and in abstraction among the metallic rock-shells.
*The Chinese title “隙“ or “fissures” along with the English name “At Intervals” suggest the gaps in space and time among the mortal, the natural, and the material.