SPIRIT OF ECSTASY CHALLENGE

STITCHED URBAN SKIN

BI RONGRONG

Titled “Urban Skin”, Bi Rongrong’s winning artwork for the Spirit of Ecstasy Challenge consists of three layers of two-dimensional sheets made from different materials: specially treated metal, an animated LED light sheet, and a Perspex sheet embedded with crochet.


Bi Rongrong, 2022, Stitched Urban Skin, for Muse, The Rolls-Royce Arts Programme,
photo by Zhang Jin

 

Old and new are woven together as the artist revives a traditional Chinese crochet technique practised by a small female collective working just outside of Shanghai. These women have used the same materials for the past 40 years, and by incorporating their knowledge into her work, Bi Rongrong helps keep their craft alive. In her work, the artist has used both their crochet pieces and embroidery created in her own studio, bringing her own spin to this ancient practice.

 

As the title of her work suggests, the artist also draws inspiration from the multi-layered landscape of cities. The sheets are hung together with a space between them, creating a three-dimensional effect which invites viewers to peer into the artwork. The animated lights in the LED sheet have been designed to mirror historical and contemporary architectural shapes which the artist has “collected” over the years, and are accompanied by a sound piece. The overall effect is a dynamic sculpture which combines craftsmanship and innovation.

Bi rongrong’s artwork for the spirit of ecstasy challenge is on display at Cromwell Place London. It will then embark on a global tour. Download the catalogue for the exhibition.

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Ever since the first encounter between Charles Rolls and Henry Royce, in 1904, Rolls-Royce Motor Cars has been synonymous with limitless imagination.

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Ever since the first encounter between Charles Rolls and Henry Royce, in 1904, Rolls-Royce Motor Cars has been synonymous with limitless imagination.

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Launching this year, the Spirit of Ecstasy Challenge celebrates both tradition and innovation. This biennial design project will invite three emerging design visionaries to create unique works inspired by the ethos of Rolls-Royce, as symbolised by the Spirit of Ecstasy, the sculptural figurine that adorns the bonnet of every Rolls-Royce motor car.

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