Our Sky Is Your Floor (2021)
Ziyi Ren, born in Guangzhou, China, is an artist working primarily with photography. She studied BA Painting at Guangzhou Academy of Fine Arts and then went onto study MA Photography at Kingston School of Art, London.
In her work Ren often uses collected objects and symbols as metaphors, placing them in landscapes to conjure up and allude to multiple narratives around the fragility of human experience and memory.
Ren’s new work Our Sky Is Your Floor is named after a chapter in José Eduardo Agualusa’s novel, ‘The General Theory of Oblivion’. During the pandemic, Ren left the UK where she was studying to visit Weicheng, a small town located in Sichuan province, China, to spend time with her grandparents. Initially, days were long with little to do, and Ren barely left the house, communicating only with her grandparents a few words each day. Gradually as the days unfolded, she started to wander more inquisitively around the house and local fields with her camera noticing small details around her such as scattered wings of dragonflies, cicada shells, a crystal ball belonging to her grandmother. Ren combined and placed these locally collected fragments and objects on human skin and in the landscape to create a new body of photographic work.
In Our Sky Is Your Floor, Ren’s images create a poetic narrative that culminates in a handmade book work and installation (online). Her images convey a world at once intensely personal yet objectively restrained. The book includes photographs as well as poems and sketches. Her poems connect seemingly disparate images with questions around how we live and inhabit this earth.
For more information visit Ren’s instagram.