Fan Xi

Simulation Play

平面关系,2021 ©️范西 Plane Relation, 2021©️Fan Xi


Perplexedly staged, Fotografiska Shanghai’s inaugural exhibition Fan Xi: Simulation Play hosts an array of “new plant species” that Fan Xi has bred in a realm of supernatural vegetation. From her early series to recent works, the evolution and metamorphosis of artificially created plants is a reoccurring theme.

陷阱,2022 ©️范西 Trap, 2022 ©️Fan Xi
陷阱,2022 ©️范西 Trap, 2022 ©️Fan Xi

By trimming, cutting, collaging and assembling digitalized nature, real-life dimensions are distorted, and new axis of perceptions are formed. The boundaries of 2D and 3D is blurred, disrupted or even reversed, challenging the viewer’s physical interpretation of customary imagery. It is a mixed reality of virtual beings materialized onto different dimensions in concrete spaces. From manipulated images on prints, to large-scale three-dimensional collages, and to photographic and 3D-printed sculptures, these images of plants seem to grow and take over surfaces and volumes in an adaption of its own.

Simulation Play renders the notion of how photography is an act of imitation by the superimposition effect of the man and machine. And yet it is not a simple “simulation” of reality but aiming to challenge the conventional method of creation and visualization of photographic, to redefine and to push the boundaries of the medium, and to question its existence and its relationship with the audience. Through her investigation and practice, the works evoke exploration into a wider approach on the interpretation of photography.



Fan Xi graduated from the Sculpture Department of the Central Academy of Fine Arts in 2009 and currently lives and works in Beijing. In her long-term practice, Fan Xi explored the profound impact of spatial and psychological distance and the act of distancing on sensorial experience. Working in photography, film, sculpture and installation, she examines the interwoven relationships between everyday experience, the production of fictions, and heterogeneous times.