Ren Ri (b. 1984)

Ren Ri (b. 1984 in Harbin, China) studied Fine Art at Tsinghua University before receiving his Masters at Saint-Petersburg Herzen State University in Russia. He also holds a PhD in Fine Art from Central Academy of Fine Arts, Beijing.

 

Ren Ri’s art is easily recognisable because of a very special medium he uses: beeswax. Even though it is considered to be quite an unusual and difficult material to work with, Ren Ri’s understanding of bee psychology and nature helps him to create, in collaboration with insects, mesmerising sculptures. Ren Ri’s most famous series, Yuansu I, II and III, are all related to his intimate experience with bees as both an artist and a beekeeper. He first started beekeeping in 2006 and several years after felt knowledgeable enough to create three series of art pieces fully made of beeswax. Yuan means element, while su means mold—Yuansu can be translated as ‘a comprehension of the gestalt of life’. The artist believes his sculptures represent the truth of how humans interact with nature, which involves harmony, destruction, molding, and interference, and can result in unpredictable, sometimes volatile, but sometimes wondrous results. His first series is called Yuansu I: The Origin of Geometry (2008) and incorporates a number of beeswax maps. In Yuansu II, he created a series of stunning geometrical sculptures, made using bee psychology. The queen was put in the middle of the box, while the other bees started building around her. Every seven days, a reference to the seven days of creation, Ren Ri randomly changed the position of the box by rolling a dice to create the shape of the sculpture. As for Yuansu III, it is a performance that shows the relationship between humans and bees. Ren Ri presented himself as a surface, pushing bees onto his face and experiencing a great number of stings.

 

This young artist has been taking part in important international shows in several countries: Fusion Convergence (2014), T Museum, Hangzhou, China; Fame Di Terra (2012), Milan, Italy; 6th Art Laguna Exhibition (2012), Venice, Italy; Carve & New Media (2007), 798 Art District, Beijing, China.