Tianyu Qiu

Artist Bio

Tianyu Qiu (b. 1988 China) is a Chinese American Artist based in New York City. He performed his piece Game I at the Itinerant Performing Art Festival 2017 in both Queens Museum and Bronx Museum of Arts. In 2018, Tianyu presented the paper he wrote about his situational project Dark Matter at the CAA Annual Conference in Los Angeles.

Tianyu deeply focuses on the exploration of space and the constructed situation that affects the bodies within space, which relates to his theater directing and designing background. Tianyu has also won the Best Scenic Design Awards in both Broadway World Awards and Black Theater Alliance Awards in 2015.

Seeing Yourself in Different Planes, 2017, Video Installation in Space, 15' x 10' x 10'

The space is a mutually undefinable white space with yellow grid, which forms a physical space of man-made perfection and a mimesis of a virtual space. When the visitors enter the space, they would soon learn to navigate through the space by identifying the lines, and curiosity will drive them to interact with the space. The first thing they find would be the live video of infinity on the wall. The desire of looking for yourself would make you try to look into it, the more infinity you will trap into the space of infinity. Thus the virtual space presented a possibility of the impossible.

Seeing Yourself in Different Planes, 2017, Video Installation in Space, 15' x 10' x 10'

First Video Installation

Seeing Yourself in Different Planes, 2017, Video Installation in Space, 15' x 10' x 10'

Seeing Yourself in Different Planes, 2017, Video Installation in Space, 15' x 10' x 10'

The second “plane” is the Ladder of Infinity, which is a ladder in the space and leading into a pit hole to another confined square space. There is a small metallic ladder in the scale of the big ladder, and another live video in the pit hole of small ladder of the person climbing the big ladder, which is another loop. The dimension of virtual space coexisted in the physical space, when the viewers move through this installation, the bodies are changed, the perceptions are changed, the body in relation to space is also ultimately changed. The spacial experience is not only a visual stimulation, but also the viewers have to embody and engage with the phenomenal perception of physicality and virtuality, such as weight, depth, motion, space, and time.

Seeing Yourself in Different Planes, 2017, Video Installation in Space, 15' x 10' x 10'

This is the video in the small ladder, which is a live video of an audience climbing on the big ladder.

Brink, 2018, Steel, Plexiglass, Banzai Tree, Soil, Mouthwash, Plants, Broken Porcelain, 5'x4'x5'

Link, 2018, Steel, Plexiglass, Plants, Soil, Charcoal, Wood, 7'x6'x10'

IF YOU SEE SOMETHING SAY SOMETHING, 2016, Installation and Performance, Gunpowder + Charcoal in the hallway, 7'x3'

Paradise Lost, 2016, Installation in a Medieval Italian Theatre, Wood, Bird Cage, Canary, Medieval Fresco Painting, Paper, Tape, Rocks, Ink, Flowers, Soil, Antique Table, Mirror, Church Bell, 100'x50'x30'

Reincarnation, 2016, Rotten Wood Log, Soil, Rocks, Weed, 16"x10"x10"

Artist Statement

I focus my interdisciplinary practice on performative acts, interactive installations, videos, photography, drawings and writings, where I construct situational projects involved with public and social engagement, and raise questions to provoke political and social phenomenon. I also experiment with technologies and media to examine and approach the complexity of power and value by re-creating culture entities through narrations. I often propose the constructed conditions of any living bodies in relationship to their situations, their environments, their societies and their systems, which all relate to the indirect way of addressing totalitarian and authoritarian repressive power that would fundamentally interact with the audiences and viewers psychologically and physically. The psychological and physical impact often comes from the idea of potentiality and possibility, what lays between the happening and the not-yet-happened, which leaves the viewers in the wonder of imaginations and questioning.

My projects do not only exist in the white cubes of the art world, but also theater stages, architectural landmarks, and other public places, where to evoke the possibilities to encounter with the Other, and to form critical and transitory dialogue over the project, the place, the time, and the people. I consider the viewers as an important role in my projects that connect the imaginary space and the world outside.