计 文于 & 朱 卫兵 JI Wenyu & ZHU Weibing

2023.11.11 – 2024.4.18 (7.28に延期)


A start of the fabric journey


Ji Wenyu & Zhu Weibing are adventurers who discovered and promoted new artistic paths, using fabric to create soft sculptures.

In the early days, Ji Wenyu mainly painted two-dimensional works. However, during a period of exploring the horizon of contemporary art, he encountered a bottleneck and found that there were limitations in the expression of two-dimensional works. It happened that his wife, Zhu Weibing, a designer who had been in the clothing and fashion industry for a long time during the same period, also became inexplicably tired and confused about his industry. Therefore, the most common and familiar fabric around them naturally became the material for a new type of artistic expression. They explored and discussed together, cut and sewed together, and created an artistic language, “soft sculpture”. During the creative process, Ji Wenyu & Zhu Weibing combine to become one person, and two hearts beat as one. “Soft sculpture” became their two-in-one artistic language, reminiscent of images of traditional Chinese crafts and daily life, but it is also a challenging new art form.

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AAEF Art Center, located in Zhujiajiao, Shanghai, aims to establish an experimental field focused on sorting out the context of Asian contemporary art. After three years of epidemic, the opening exhibition will be held on November 11, 2023. The opening exhibition invited Miwa Kutsuna as the curator to have a solo exhibition, “Stranger”, for the artist couple Ji Wenyu & Zhu Weibing. The exhibition showcased nearly 40 pieces of two-dimensional works, installations and video works since the artists jointly created “soft sculptures” in 2003.


计文于&朱卫兵 肖像照 Ji Wenyu & Zhu Weibing Portrait

Ji Wenyu (b.1959) and Zhu Weibing (b.1971) began collaborating on soft sculpture creation in 2003. They currently work and live in Shanghai.


The soft sculpture works jointly created by Ji Wenyu and his wife, Zhu Weibing, allow us to see the unique charm of another artistic language. This form of presentation seems to be “the only one” in contemporary art. The choice of cloth as a material is not accidental. It should be said that it is related to Zhu Weibing’s clothing design work.


Cloth comes from folk art, arts and crafts, various toys, and fibre arts. It is soft, warm, simple, primitive, and a bit chaotic, but the artist insists on connecting it with the present and contemporary times. A piece of cloth wrapped in cotton becomes a shape that is round or not, square or not. It follows its nature and is not arranged by others. It cannot give an accurate representation but can give frequent surprises. The artist keenly grasps the cloth’s imperfection, highlighting its unique qualities. After conception, design, production and completion, they cleverly created garden-like landscaping, stage-like furnishings, and typical “Chinese-style” puppet figures. They teasingly make fun in the way like lifting a weight as if taking it lightly, presents the ideals and illusions of modern society under the flourishing flowers. As observers of the world, this is precisely what they see.