"Half Peel Half Pulp III" (2022) and "Protrude" by Shanghai-based artist Yu Ji were included in the artist’s first US museum solo exhibition the Orange County Museum of Art (OCMA), Yu Ji: A Guest, A Host, A Ghost, from 23 June to 22 October 2023.

The works were originally commissioned by Audemars Piguet Contemporary as part of the installation "Stone, Barnacles, and Seeds" (2022) which premiered at West Bund Art & Design in Shanghai in November 2022.

Visitors to the installation in Shanghai were immersed in a concerto of light and shadow illuminating undulating surfaces and textures to create a visual sense of flowing rhythms. Filmed imagery of water titled “Late Wave” (2021) played intermittently on a retro television monitor. Two monumental sculptures anchored the installation —“Protrude II” (2022), a large bronze plate onto which the artist projects a video of water in motion, and “Half Peel Half Pulp III” (2022), a lead carpet formed into the organic shape of a wave.

Through this commission, Audemars Piguet Contemporary supported Yu Ji in the evolution of her research and practice, working closely with Shanghai-based independent contemporary art curator Li Qi. The sculptural elements of “Stone, Barnacles, and Seeds” are the artist’s largest to date and incorporate new methods of fabrication, such as working with the erosion of metal.

The inspiration for “Stone, Barnacles, and Seeds” comes from the artist’s travels to various bodies of water—from the tideland by her seaside studio in Shanghai to the rock bed of a lake at the north-eastern coast of America. For Yu Ji, water morphs from a concrete memory into a mythical narration of time and decay—capturing a fleeting moment and its various movements, rather than a specific location.

Developing "Stone, Barnacles, and Seeds" allowed me to explore new fabrication techniques and take on the challenge of larger-scale sculpture. I am thankful to Li Qi and Audemars Piguet Contemporary for their support in creating the work.

Yu Ji


"Half Peel Half Pulp III" and "Protrude" were on view at the Orange County Museum of Art as part of the exhibition Yu Ji: A Guest, A Host, A Ghost from 23 June – 22 October 2023.


Orange County Museum of Art
3333 Avenue of the Arts
Costa Mesa, CA 92626

Yu Ji is expanding her practice and mastering new textures. The collaboration with Audemars Piguet Contemporary has made this work possible and provided a platform to showcase this new commission which marks a new phase of Yu Ji’s practice. I look forward to seeing how audiences respond to her evolving creation.

Li Qi

Independent Curator of Contemporary Art

Portrait of Yu Ji.

Yu Ji (b. 1985, Shanghai) is known for a diverse practice that spans sculpture, installation, performance, video and most recently drawing. Much of her work is motivated by the investigation of the concept of place, and the capacity for specific loci to be charged with both geographical and historical narratives. She frequently conducts field research, as part of which she has staged temporary interventions in different sites around the world, which reflect upon and interrogate the place of the body within everyday environments. In 2008, she co-founded “am art space” – an artist-led space in Shanghai, promoting experimentation and exchanges between artists, curators and the public. The artist lives and works in Shanghai.

Yu Ji obtained her MFA from the Department of Sculpture, College of Art of Shanghai University, in 2011. In 2017, she was shortlisted for the Hugo Boss Asia Art: Award for Emerging Asian Artists. Current and recent solo exhibitions include “Against Shadows”, Sadie Coles HQ, London (2022); “Wasted Mud”, Chisenhale Gallery, London (2021); “Spontaneous Decisions II”, Gallery 0, Centre Pompidou x West Bund Museum Project, Shanghai (2021); “Forager”, Edouard Malingue, offsite at Avenue Apartments, Shanghai (2020); “Stones in Her Pocket”, Project Terrace, Shanghai (2020); “Black Mountain”, Beijing Commune (2016), “Dairy of Sulfur Mining—Pataauw”, Mind Set Art Center, Taipei (2016) and “Never Left Behind”, Beijing C-Space (2014). Recent group exhibitions include The 10th Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art, QAGOMA Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art, Brisbane (2021); “INCORPOREA 03", Basement Roma, Rome (2021); “Soft Water Hard Stone”, New Museum Triennial 2021, New Museum, New York (2021); “May You Live in Interesting Times”, 58th International Art Exhibition, Venice Biennale, Venice (2019); “SOON ENOUGH: ART IN ACTION”, Tensta Konsthall, Stockholm (2018); HUGO BOSS ASIA ART: Award for Emerging Asian Artists, Rockbund Art Museum, Shanghai (2017); “The Eighth Climate (What does art do?)”, 11th Gwangju Biennale (2016); “Why Not Ask Again: Arguments, Counter-arguments, and Stories”, 11th Shanghai Biennale (2016); “INSIDE CHINA. L’Intérieur du Géant”, Palais de Tokyo, Paris (2014). The artist’s work will appear in two solo museum exhibitions in 2023: one opening in April at the Center for Contemporary Arts Berlin, Germany; and one in June at the Orange County Museum of Art, California.