Rainbow (180 People)

Ni Youyu


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acrylic on canvas, wooden protractor, steel
215 x 320 cm
Rainbow (180 People) (2014-2015) is a representation of the stars and galaxies visible to an astronomer, in this case a firmament created with paint on canvas. A hugely enlarged wooden protractor floats over what at first seems an abstract field, a development from Ni Youyu’s earlier series of works made from old rulers and measuring instruments. For this painting, however, the protractor was made in the artist’s studio, carefully finished to resemble the antique astronomical instruments once used to measure the angles of stars and to calculate directions and distances. The 180 degrees of its half circle are marked in rainbow colours. Each degree records an artist who influenced Ni Youyu from his study of western and eastern art history. They are, he says, like ‘the stars shining brightly on us in the galaxy.’
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