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Enter a Giant Medicine Capsule Made Entirely of Clothes

Reflect on the therapeutic effects of medicine inside Beijing-based artist Yin Xiuzhen’s latest installation
Image courtesy the artist

Textiles and architecture don’t often intersect, unless it’s under the protective cover of a camping or festival tent. But in Beijing-based artist Yin Xiuzhen’s imagination, the two different fields are practically inseparable. In her latest work, Slow Release, Xiuzhen installed a giant, 40' structure made entirely of textiles as part of Garage Museum of Contemporary Art’s Atrium Commissions.

The shape and color of pill magnified to a monumental scale, Slow Release is comprised of over 600 square feet of red and white clothing. A portion of the clothing was donated by Muscovites, then hand-sewn into the giant medicine capsule shape. It is one of the most ambitious and largest architectural structures Xiuzhen has ever made


“The red and white capsule references a new generation of pills designed to reduce the speed of release of medicine in the body in order to increase its therapeutic effect,” Garage curator Snejana Krasteva explains. “In Yin’s installation, however, the role of the decelerating element is played not by the capsule, but by the outside layer of clothing which envelopes the giant structure.”

“By allowing visitors to enter the capsule, which is covered in the kind of clothes we wear every day––our second skin, as the artist refers to them––Yin creates a situation where people can slow down and experience the effect of being inside their own body.”

Xiuzhen’s installation is a reflection on the incredible speed at which society now exists. She hopes Slow Release makes visitors think about the high demand for rapid medical therapy amidst the importance of taking time for “prolonged rituals of self-medication.”

In addition to Slow Release, Xiuzhen is leading a workshop called “Artists for Children” on October 1st at Garage. Children will work with Xiuzhen on crafting an “ideal city” made entirely of clothes. As with her own art, the use of clothing as material in the workshop conjures memories of her mother’s work at a Chinese garment factory, and reminds Xiuzhen that clothes were precious items during her childhood.

Slow Release opens September 30th and runs until January 31, 2017 at Garage Museum of Contemporary Art in Moscow.


Click here to see more of Yin Xiuzhen’s work.


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