In the music video of his seminal song A Piece of Red Cloth, Chinese rock musician Cui Jian is blindfolded: “You used a piece of red cloth,” he sings, “to blindfold my eyes and cover up the sky. You asked me what I could see. I said I saw happiness.” In her new installation, Vera Young uses red silk and other fabrics for an installation in the [erp] window space and to wrap a dead tree on Ernst-Reuter-Platz. This way, different parts become one, a unified system. Since the beginning of her artistic practice, the artist has used sewing to make works with canvas and paper, as well as immersive installations.
Many of her paintings, dots, and sculptures, still now, resemble stitches. There’s a paradox here: sewing damages the material, creates holes, and at the same time, it repairs, fixes. The stitching is both a repetitive gesture and form. In continuation of historical abstraction, these compositions negotiate coexisting cells, broad fields of color, figures and ground. For Vera Young, stitching is a metaphor for demystification: processing personal loss, unmasking family histories and raising questions about larger, intangible political systems.
How does a tree die? Situated between a Deutsche Bank, a police station and a public arts university, Vera Young’s gesture to cover up an unnoticed, dead tree stands as a provocative act of love.
Vera Young (born in 1986 in Suzhou, China) lives and works in Berlin. She has exhibited at (selection) Galerie OVO, Taipei, Taiwan; Galerie Pugliese Levi, Migrant Birds Space, Berlin, Germany and Tabula Rasa Gallery, Beijing, China.