Anicka Yi. Metaspore

The exhibition "Metaspore" by Anicka Yi is conceived to stimulate visitors' sensory and synesthetic experience.


Immigrant Caucus (2022) by Anicka YiPirelli HangarBicocca

“Metaspore” is the first exhibition in an Italian institution by Anicka Yi (Seoul, 1971; lives and works in New York), one of the most innovative and engaging figures on the contemporary art scene. 

"Metaspore" (2022) by Anicka YiPirelli HangarBicocca

In her artistic practice, Yi combines languages and themes from many fields, ranging from philosophy to biology, from politics to science fiction. 

"Metaspore" (2022) by Anicka YiPirelli HangarBicocca

Collaboration is fundamental in Yi’s practice: over the years she has worked with professionals from a number of fields of knowledge, in a dialogue that also involves different figures in her studio.

"Metaspore" (2022) by Anicka YiPirelli HangarBicocca

Featuring more than twenty installations from 2010 until today, the show at Pirelli HangarBicocca, conceived as a sensory and synesthetic experience, questions the boundaries between natural and synthetic, human and non-human, materiality and immateriality.

Shameplex (2022) by Anicka YiPirelli HangarBicocca

The show exhibits both the artist’s projects focused on the research into tactile and olfactory materials, and works characterized by the use of perishable and industrial materials. 

"Metaspore", Anicka Yi, 2022, From the collection of: Pirelli HangarBicocca
When Species Meet Part 2 (Vegetable Psychology), Anicka Yi, 2022, From the collection of: Pirelli HangarBicocca
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12 Synesthetic Crayons (2022) by Anicka YiPirelli HangarBicocca

The exhibition reveals essential themes in Yi’s practice, such as the co-existence of different organisms, nonhuman forms of intelligence, identity and social injustice.

Biologizing the Machine (spillover zoonotica) (2022) by Anicka YiPirelli HangarBicocca

The title “Metaspore” —a neologism coined by Anicka Yi— is inspired by the biological world: spores are the cellular units that reproduce and give rise to new living entities without the need for sexual reproduction. 

The concept metaphorically evokes the process of proliferation that the artist employs in her work, which contaminates and is contaminated by its surroundings. 

Biologizing the Machine (spillover zoonotica) (2022) by Anicka YiPirelli HangarBicocca

The colored bacterial ecosystems in the work Biologizing the Machine (spillover zoonotica), 2022, created in collaboration with the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences of the University of Milan-Bicocca, exemplify this approach.

Le Pain Symbiotique (2022) by Anicka YiPirelli HangarBicocca

Solo shows by the artist have been organized by many internationally renowned institutions, among which: the Hyundai Commission, Turbine Hall, Tate Modern, London (2021); Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York (2017); 

Le Pain Symbiotique (2022) by Anicka YiPirelli HangarBicocca

Fridericianum, Kassel (2016); Kunsthalle Basel, the MIT List Visual Arts Center, Cambridge (MASS.), and The Kitchen, New York (2015); the Cleveland Museum of Art (2014).

"Metaspore" (2022) by Anicka YiPirelli HangarBicocca

Yi has also participated in many group shows, including the Venice Biennale (2019); the Whitney Biennial, New York (2017); the Okayama Art Summit, the Gwangju Biennale (2016); the Taipei Biennial (2014); the Lyon Biennale (2013).

"Metaspore" (2022) by Anicka YiPirelli HangarBicocca

Anicka Yi has won important prizes, among which The Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation Award (2011) and the Guggenheim Hugo Boss Prize (2016).

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