A.I.R. Gallery is pleased to announce Scab, an exhibition of new work by 2023–2024 Fellow Xinyi Liu. At the heart of the exhibition is a tactile exploration of wounds and recovery, materialized in an installation featuring disposable facial wipes transformed into expansive wall hangings.

During quarantine, Liu began collecting the disposable wipes that she and her female friends and family used to clean their faces and remove their makeup. Her daily ritual of preserving and dyeing these disposable wipes, imprinting them with the essence of her skin, serves as a tangible chronicle of human resilience, as well as a symbol of the connection between everyday femininity, domesticity, and fragility. The metamorphosis of these wipes into a canvas becomes a poignant metaphor, reflecting the transient nature of life in the face of the global environmental crisis and the inevitable generation of waste during the pandemic. Also included in the exhibition are works created with mulberry paper, selected for its thin and silky resemblance to human skin.

Through meticulous treatments such as imprinting, ripping, wetting, and unfolding with hand pressure, the paper undergoes a transformative process, becoming a canvas for unexpected textures, veins, and patterns unique to the individual—a metaphorical “surgery” breathing new life into materials. At the same time, the muted palette employed in these works mirrors the color of dead skin, evoking the scabs and scars of a healing process.

Xinyi Liu works with mulberry paper and disposable wipes, which resonate with the thin and silky quality of human skin. She creates works that metaphorically mimic the processes of treating wounds to heal. Through her “medical” manipulation, they become her “second skin.” Like a doctor, she does surgeries for her work. She received her BA and BFA from Cornell University and her MFA from Columbia University.

The artist’s work has been exhibited at A.I.R. Gallery, New York, NY; ChaShaMa, New York, NY; YveYANG Gallery, New York, NY; Visual Arts Center, Nantucket, MA; Salón Acme, Mexico; Lenfest Center for the Arts, New York, NY; Half Gallery, New York, NY; CAFA Art Museum, Beijing; CAA Art Museum, Hangzhou; China Printmaking Museum, Shenzhen; EDA Art Space, Shenzhen; Olive Tjaden Gallery, Ithaca, NY; John Hartell Gallery, Ithaca, NY; Mann Library Gallery, Ithaca, NY; Palazzo Santacroce, Rome; Euroasian Art Gallery, Paris; Jugendkunstschule Pankow, Berlin.