[Art Rabbits] Artist - Sally (Yilin) Shi

Updated: Sep 27, 2021

Huanyu Xing & Erika Mengqi Gan

September 17th, 2021

A selection of photographs from Shi's series Romantic Chaos (2020 - ) and Sequelae (2019 - 2020) are shown at Rabbit Hutch Photography in Adelaide, Australia alongside two other Asian photographers' works, Soojo Li and Jialu Liu in the group exhibition Visible Cocklebur (August 20th to October 17th, 2021). Among the 12 works exhibited, Red (2020) might be especially noticeable because of its scale, and the size was intentionally chosen by the artist to replicate the scene where she took the photo. Shi captured the reflection of street light on a splash of water spattered from a sprinkler through a red filter paper. Gleams of the reflection create a lush scene, in which resided the artist’s undisclosed emotions.

Red (2020) is an epitome of elements Shi loves, vegetation textures, strong colours, water, refractions and reflections, lights and shadows. They are also things that constantly provoke her emotions, and by capturing moments of these things she becomes able to hide all the intense feelings from her long-term emotional distress. The quiet and subtle appearance of the work masks an undercurrent of secrets and chaos, intending to create a romantic atmosphere for the audience.

Shi did not discuss further with us about her works - instead, she wanted the audience to have their own interpretations. As she said, ‘the truth is that photography is only one medium of artistic expression, and art is only one of the many components of life. Each part, and each moment of these parts, constitutes the "you" this moment.' Shi wanted everyone to have their own take on her works.

Red, 2020 ©️Sally Shi

An unhealthy intimate relationship together with her mental health issues have gradually changed the way she looks at the world. Suffered from a past unhealthy intimate relationship, for a time she became sentimental and suspicious to a point that every established rule was questionable. The experience brought something new to Shi - from there, she tried to let her observation operate on intuition and sentiment and meanwhile attempted to eliminate norms in her process of understanding the world - scientific laws, beliefs and values, forms and shapes.

Upside Down, 2020 ©️Sally Shi

Sally Shi’s series Traces of Nothingness (2018 - 2019) was an attempt to explore the relationship between meaning and existence. The artist chose to focus her lens on trivial things in our daily life - rubber gloves on the edge of a sink in the kitchen, flowers lying on a bench, a long leaf plant in a bush, … Compared to strong emotions and magnificent scenes, these ordinary occurrences are things most people would ignore while they actually consisted of a significant proportion of our mundane life. By re-examining the surroundings, Shi was hoping that her works could inspire the audience to have a second think about the nature of life.

Cabbage and Rubber Gloves, 2018 ©️Sally Shi

Passing by, 2018 ©️Sally Shi

Battersea Park Night I, 2018 ©️Sally Shi

Sally has a Bachelor's degree in art history from China Central Academy of Fine Arts, Beijing and a Master of Arts in Photography from Royal College of Art, London.

Exhibitions and Awards

2019.01 RCA 2019 WIP Show RCA Radstock Building, London, UK

2020.07 Wake up in 2020 (Wake up in 2020), Hangzhou, China

2020.07 RCA Online Graduation Exhibition 2020


Selected and commented by Andreas Gurksy as one of his favorite works

2020.08 With Fists, It Kicks, It Bites, RCA2020 Photography Physical Graduation Exhibition, Edel Assanti Gallery, London, UK

2020.09 Source Magazine

Participated in the graduate work submission and was nominated by The Tate International Art Curator Assistant Sarah Allen. The work was showed on their official website and physical magazine

2020.09-10 London Grads Now, Saatchi Gallery, London, UK

2020.10 Interviewed by Foto Video China and published in 2020.10 issue

2020.10-11 Sensation in Between, Arthill Gallery, London, UK

2020.12-2021.01 New Horizon-Young Designers Exhibition, Coast Gallery, Zhuhai, China

2020.12-2021.01 Escape From No.188, Bibliotheque de tresor, Shanghai, China

2021.01-03 New Abstraction-Group Exhibition, Marie’s Art Museum, Shanghai, China

2021.03 Charming and Awakening of Light – Yilin Shi solo exhibition, Markor Furnishings Design Centre, Changzhou, China

2021.06-07 Unbounded Group Exhibition 2021, Three Shadows Xiamen Photography Art Centre, Xiamen, China

2021.08-09 Ode to a Nightingale-New Graduate Group Exhibition, Harmony Art Gallery, Shanghai, China

2021.08-10 Visible Cocklebur, Group Photography Exhibition, Rabbit Hutch Photography, Adelaide, Australia

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