Shen Xin’s recently completed video Warm Spell (2018) is a complex exploration of bodies and cultures, set amidst the environmental change caused by global warming. Shot on the Thai tropical island Ko Yao Yai, Xin explores the economic and cultural challenges the island faces as it shifts from a predominantly farming community to one dependent on tourism. Interviews with the island’s inhabitants reveal challenges posed by the daily influx of western tourists to their traditions and customs. While the environmental instability underlining Warm Spell unfolds, Xin constructs a dreamlike backdrop for more personal explorations of the island and its influence on the body.
Warm Spell is shown alongside the earlier work Counting Blessings (2014), a record of her artist father’s photography collection focused on representations of Tibetans and Tibetan culture in Chinese ink painting. The complex social and political connotations associated with her father’s practice mirror Xin’s own work and its intersection with cross-cultural conditions.
Counting Blessings, 2014, HD video, colour, sound, 37 min
Warm Spell, 2018, HD video, colour and b&w, sound, 34 min
Shen Xin (b. 1990, lives and works in Amsterdam). Recent solo exhibitions include History Repeats Itself, MIMA, Middlesbrough (2018); and Sliced Units, CFCCA, Manchester (2018). Recent group presentations include Emerald City, K11 Art Foundation, Hong Kong (2018); Songs for Sabotage, New Museum Triennial, New York (2018); and Frontier, OCAT, Shanghai (2017). Xin is currently a resident at the Rijksakademie van Beeldende Kunsten in Amsterdam.