Artist Spotlight: Timur Si-Qin


Combining his interest in commercial imagery and the evolution of theories on human psychology, artist Timur Si Qin, of part German and part Mongolian-Chinese descent, is firmly rooting himself as one of the most prominent representatives of the contemporary philosophical movement of New Materialism.

The works of Timur Si Qin are charged with new-era symbolism, where theories of evolution and biology meet commercial imagery. Timur is interested in everyday materials, he removes them from their natural context, deprives them of their original meaning to isolate them in a frozen dimension where they become something else.

In his photography, Timur is concerned with hyper-commercial aesthetic of stock images as a way to explore what he calls “the deep chains of causality underlying the patterns of contemporary image culture”. Thus, his research in the big machine of advertisement goes beyond mocking the ridiculous obsession for appearance, virility, luxury and health. His works celebrate the artlessness of advertisement campaigns and investigates the patterns and shapes that repeat themselves so persistently in a world dominated by media hyper-proliferation. Timur's critical standpoint and its distance from reality strongly influence his works, which are often presented as biological relics.

Installation view of Truth by Peace II & Truth by Peace III (2015) @ Magician Space, Beijing, China, May 2015

The Tiroche DeLeon Collection's recent acquisition of Truth by Peace II & Truth by Peace III (TBP) perfectly capture the essence of Timur's language. These works are named after the brand released by the artist for his exhibition and remind us of New York fashion brand "Hood by Air" sub-brand, HBA. Giving the name to a whole series of works, including sculptures and light box installations, TBP analyzes commodity culture in the wider framework of humankind's history, which reflects the multifaceted reality and multiple subjectivities that populate our contemporary experience. Truth by Peace examines the mode in which culture and ideologies turn into a product and how identities influence the creation and evolution of these objects. Timur explains: “The important thing to keep in mind, is that culture is an extension of biology, that it is a powerful adaptation in and of itself” (Jane Parker, An interview with Timur Si-Qin, Nov. 2013,

The unique choice of the artist to play with these themes naturally stimulate the viewer to reflect on how the power of advertisement influences our culture and perceptions, paying attention to the artificial details and codes that make us attracted to an image. Making us aware of these unconscious mechanisms, Timur's work offers a sort of emancipation of our free will. In an interview for LEAP Magazine, Timur explains: “I’m interested in how modularity and plasticity are intrinsic to the world. Things can be used as things other than what they were predestined for... In developing the brand, I’m interested in using symbols this way. Combining disparate symbols, stripping them of much of their original meaning and repurposing them in a new way”.

Timur Si-Qin (b. 1984) is an artist of German and Mongolian-Chinese decent who grew up in Berlin, Beijing and in a Native American community in the American Southwest. Today, Si-Qin lives and works in Berlin. He has shown internationally at Bonner Kunstverein, CCS Bard New York, Museum Fridericianum Kassel, the Taipei Biennial, and last year he participated in the Art Post-Internet group exhibition curated by Karen Archey and Robin Peckham at the UCCA in Beijing. Timur is represented by Société in Berlin and Magician Space in Beijing, 


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