The New Social Environment#711

Yun-Fei Ji: The Sunflower Turned Its Back

Featuring Ji and Lilly Wei, with Rooja Mohassessy


1 p.m. Eastern / 10 a.m. Pacific

Artist Yun-Fei Ji joins Rail contributor Lilly Wei for a conversation. We conclude with a poetry reading by Rooja Mohassessy.

In this talk

Visit Yun-Fei Ji: The Sunflower Turned Its Back, on view at James Cohan Gallery through January 7, 2023 →

Yun-Fei Ji

Photo of Yun-Fei Ji
Yun-Fei Ji (b. 1963, Beijing, China) earned his BFA from Central Academy of Fine Arts, Beijing and his MFA from University of Arkansas at Fayetteville. Ji received the 2006 American Academy Prix de Rome Fellowship and Residency, and was the 2007 Artist-in-residence at the Parasol Unit Foundation for Contemporary Art in London. In his practice, Ji utilizes the symbols of folkloric tradition to speak truth to power. Full of phantoms, demons, and other spectral characters, Ji’s paintings have frequently functioned as metaphorical critiques of oppressive power structures—and strategies of defiance. In his ink and watercolor compositions, these ghostly figures are stand-ins for the complex political undercurrents and cultural tug-of-war shaping rural communities in a rapidly developing world.

Lilly Wei

A Photo of Lilly Wei
New York-based independent curator, writer, journalist and critic Lilly Wei writes on global contemporary art and emerging art and artists, reporting frequently on international exhibitions and biennials. She has written for dozens of publications here and abroad and is a longtime contributor to Art in America and a contributing editor at ARTnews. She is the author of numerous artists’ catalogues and monographs and has curated exhibitions in the United States, Europe, and Asia. Wei sits on the board of several non-profit art institutions and organizations including AICA/USA (the International Association of Art Critics), Bowery Arts & Sciences, and Art Omi International. She is a fellow and Treasurer of the Board of Directors of the CUE Foundation.

The Rail has a tradition of ending our conversations with a poetry reading, and we’re fortunate to have Rooja Mohassessy reading.

Rooja Mohassessy

A photo of Rooja Mohassessy
Rooja Mohassessy is an Iranian-born poet and educator. She is a 2022 MacDowell Fellow and a graduate of the Pacific University MFA program in Oregon. Her debut collection When Your Sky Runs Into Mine was the winner of the 22nd Annual Elixir Poetry Award and is available for preorder now with the release date of February 2023. Her poems and reviews have appeared or are forthcoming in Narrative Magazine, Poet Lore, RHINO Poetry, Southern Humanities Review, CALYX Journal, Ninth Letter, Cream City Review, The Adroit Journal, New Letters, The Florida Review, Poetry Northwest, The Pinch, The Rumpus, and elsewhere.

❤️ 🌈 We'd like to thank the The Terra Foundation for American Art for making these daily conversations possible, and for their support of our growing archive.