Skip to main content
Sculpture (MA)

Chenxuan Yue

Chenxuan Yue (b.1997) is a Chinese artist who works with a variety of perspectives and methods. Her practice is to explore the crazy structure of daily life, the structural methods that humans try to establish in their daily lives and its slippage or collapse. Through the study of the break-up and failure conditions of communication in everyday life, she explores everyday language, behaviors, and conventions. For her, evil, as a way to freedom, presents opportunities and problems. in the present full of borders disappearing and uncertainty, chaos is both a phenomenon and an action.

Show Location: Battersea campus: Studio Building, First floor

Her recent work The Rhetoric, explores moments when boundaries were blurred and the capacity of language as a form of imagination to invade reality and create chaos. As a speech decoration, a manufactured difference, forged blood and body, a color of temptation, a symbol, an imagination, and a pretense, the cherries grow, from madness to silence, and the expansion of rhetoric gradually becomes a kind of emptiness and a wound.

The Rhetoric
The Rhetoric
The Rhetoric



Fortunately, it was always

pass by soon, the stars and the stars

they slide side by side, they are

-- not vicious enough, not reputable enough

kidnaped by language, vibrate like eardrums

And then retaliated by silence,

the strings of the spirit will be loosened then

The language is not strong enough, It’s

roots grow on some kind of deviation

Dry, an insight like chest pain

It's still too early for now!

Under the sun, is a bubble of dishonesty



Seems like fell asleep, she was quieter than ever, resting her head on a cushion, her silver hair tucked back, and falling asleep deeply. For me, she had never been so concrete, so far away, that sheer material weight. There was almost a sheen of marble in the soft face. It was useless to write it down, in fact, I could not speak a word, should not think, should not talk, what we speak is not the same language, almost deprived. It doesn’t, it doesn’t! Processing, processing! With my mouth open, I couldn't say a word. My heart closed to me, once again, loss, secrets, swallowed all of those. From a distance, he nodded to me, his lips twitching, with the charm of a fog-cat -- yet unapproachable, untouchable, only to make some wounds on me fruitlessly.

Diary of a Madman I


A fall of snow will wake me up

I will keep walking

Let's say that something must happen

it's going to point to a result

And the result is aimless walking

Then pass by

at dusk or dawn

on the back of the crowd

A kind of dryness gradually builds up there

They said the man was mad

The only crazy person in the town

If I go up and hold his hand

They said you were crazy, too

Let's say that person lowers his head

The sun rose from the back of him

And the moon

can't be caught

Even the language accuses me of my aimlessness

If I keep writing

that would be

an animal

a god

The lie would also take off its coats of truth

Imagine a reverse structure

didn't get the results

unable to continue

That's the end of the matter

Just waiting for

In the dim, empty night of low vision

And the closed lips of the inaccessible town

There should be a big snow, too

Diary of a Madman II


She opened the door for me

In the candlelight

People talk about the madman in the town

A poor creature

He goes crazy sometimes, but also looks like

very tired

How did they talk about the madman

I don't really care

I think his hand has

the same temperature with us

I just looked down

staring at the tea, and

surprised at

at last I could see it in my reflection

the madman's face

which is silent and kept his head down.



One day, the wound seemed to come out of nowhere.

It's not because of the massive lockdown, the death of my grandmother and my two dogs, the deaths of many people, coronavirus, men, women, women in cages, war, or fake news, it's not because of those.

And then the wound spread, and it was an indigestible feeling, a hungry feeling, a feeling of not knowing what to do. Cherry - the color of blood, of sin and love, of temptation, pleasure, of surging desire, of screaming. The color of her nail polish, a color of power. This is the rhetoric of cherries, all of those makes them expensive, which would make them more expensive if I write it more carefully, fine rhetoric, from food to language to me, all of those can be expensive. Like spots, like eczema, like viruses, they go crazy.

But, with its blood-like color, the weeping cherries, is a kind of imaginary tear, it doesn't need any comfort, per se.


Form, Plaster, Clay, Metal, Fake Food Model


Dimensions Variable
But I Said Nothing.
Bye. Bye. Bye. Bye.

An earlier form of this work came from a short poem, which was quickly written beforehand. The original idea was to explore the situation in which one was asked to be honest.

The child's play, a reckoning of the day,

makes things detestable.

The rain the wind adsorption,

endless vibration. I walk

with clean steps.

Honesty, giant saxophone, and wheat

become some kind of

filler, what under grains were killed?


facing the


A piece of flint

still burning alone.

I discussed it with poet and artist Kirsten Norrie. As my first reader of this poem, she said: “I know, I really know what you're talking about, it's about oppression.” Kirsten is right. Even though I didn't think it would be about oppression before, she's right.

“You didn't answer the question. You became the question itself,” she said.

The answer became the question or the unanswered question, and the answer became the fire of nonexistence, the burning of the impossible.

When I wrote this poem in 2020, I was on the highway back to my hometown from Beijing. My father came to pick me up. Once in a while, when I wasn't sleeping, Dad and I would have a chat on the road.

It was overcast with light rain. We talked about Granny's healthy condition. Dad said it wasn't so good this time. We both were silent for a while.

Halfway through, we suddenly saw a light in the distance. It wasn't the first time we saw fire on the highway. If someone throws cigarette butts away, when the wind blows, the weeds nearby would burn up. I didn't usually care about how those burning weeds are finally put out, but this time it was different. First, it was a rainy day. Second, what was burning wasn't weeds, but a car.

The car was burning alone quietly, and there was no one around it. Dad and I were in sync, unconsciously holding our breath.

From the perspective of the burn patterns on the car’s body, it had burned for a quite long while. There were no people in it, no traces of accident, it seemed like someone had abandoned it on the side of the road. It was parked in the emergency lane, carefully, with a door missing. Maybe it was towed there after an accident, but why they just left it on the side of the road, but instead of dealing with it?

I didn't know how should I feel about this car, or if I should care about it, because it seemed to be dangerous. It hinted that there might have been an accident earlier, but at the same time, it looked like something permitted, neatly placed on the side of the road, as if it was determined to be abandoned.

Dad was silent, and for a moment we didn't say anything. It was a dim moment for us, facing a car that wasn't in our experience, which wasn't in a condition that our natural experience could describe.

At the same time, I kept thinking about Kundera's ‘highway’. I had read Milan Kundera's Immortality in March 2020, and felt trapped with it ever since. My poem can be seen as delayed feedback. In Immortality, Kundera talks about the natural road versus the modern highway:

Road: a strip of ground over which one walks. A highway differs from a road not only because it is solely intended for vehicles, but also because it is merely a line that connects one point with another. A highway has no meaning in itself; its meaning derives entirely from the two points that it connects. A road is a tribute to space. Every stretch of road has meaning in itself and invites us to stop. A highway is the triumphant devaluation of space, which thanks to it has been reduced to a mere obstacle to human movement and a waste of time.

The main character, Agnes, escaped from the utterly modern highway to the path, and met her death. Escaped from absolute modernity, from self, from the fight of immortality, and permitted herself to die.

The car looked like an ‘accidental product’ on the highway. Time was misplaced there, the silent and burning vehicle. Its time doesn’t belong to the capital clock time in modern society, cannot be counted. According to Jonathan Martineau: ‘time is a social construct and how we are experiencing time is changing under capitalism. Instead of measuring time through "concrete" processes such as the change of the seasons or the day-night cycle, we have "abstracted" time to that of the clock - minutes, hours etc.’ Modern time; the time from the past to the future, which can be counted, from point to point, just like a highway, rather than a road.

On that highway, what attracted me was the premeditated light. It was not a destructive light that hinted at danger, but a light that kept burning for itself alone. I wrote that poem during the rest of the journey.

It was about two weeks after the written poem. We got the news of Grandma's death. The moment I saw her, I didn't say anything. Should I cry? Or shouldn't I. Should I say something? Or shouldn't I. I felt a calmness in her face, which had a soft, marble-like sheen, and I felt ashamed of my analogy. No, I shouldn’t think like that.

“You could call her,” my mother said to me. I couldn’t. I choked, and the feeling of choking continued. At funerals, it is traditional to perform a heart-wrenching cry. That was what they did at my grandfather's funeral. The same as then, I couldn't cry, even though I had a very good relationship with my grandfather. When he lost consciousness, they said, "Call your Grandpa.” I couldn’t.

Finally, my lips moved, but I didn't say anything.

What should I say? Nobody had taught me that before. In the face of unspeakable things, the only way is to remain silent. Not to think, not to say. Silence is the supreme virtue.

What the most abused in civilization know is the barbarity of speech and the neglect of silence. In Toward Some Air, Kateri Akiwenzie-Damm discusses silence as a form of resistance. Failure to understand and ‘read’ silence is the cause of a great deal of misunderstanding, conflict, frustration, and exploitation. It is a form of dominance and fear-based aggression that is perpetuated against Others. At this point, to remain silent is to acknowledge the injury. As a kind of retreat, it acquiesces to the ineffectiveness of discourse and hides as the subject of discourse.


Mixed Materials


Dimensions Variable

These digital paintings, most of them are about the restricted bodies, which are smooth, juicy, healthy, even erotic, with bold colors, expanding their presence.

But at the same time, they are trapped with the bold existence of themselves, then it turned into nausea, the nausea of existence.

See more on


Digital Painting


210mm x 297mm