Skip Navigation

Brooklyn Galaxy

Ni Youyu

Asian Art

On View: Asian Galleries, Southwest, 2nd floor
Ni Youyu’s Brooklyn Galaxy consists of sixty-six coins from different nations, each hammered flat and ornamented with a miniature ink painting created by the artist, using a magnifying glass. It is inspired by Chinese cosmology and ancient star charts, reinterpreted with new materials and meanings. The artist’s Galaxy installations are a critique of consumerism and the global commodification of art; in Chinese, the word for “galaxy” translates as “silver river” (yin he), and the expression “to pound money” (za qian) can refer to a businessman who spends prolifically to make a fast profit.

This work was commissioned by the Brooklyn Museum for the new galleries of Chinese art. Some of the coins in this unique work have images of landscapes reminiscent of the Song (960–1279) or Yuan (1279–1368) dynasties: birds with lush feathers, vibrant flowers, and scholar’s rocks. On others, Ni has painted images of some of the masterworks from the Museum’s collection of historical Chinese art. Viewers are invited to match the coins from Ni’s galaxy with the objects on display in the adjacent gallery for the Arts of China.
MEDIUM Metal, pigment
DATES 2014
COLLECTIONS Asian Art
MUSEUM LOCATION This item is on view in Asian Galleries, Southwest, 2nd floor
ACCESSION NUMBER 2019.9
CREDIT LINE Bequest of Dr. Bertram H. Schaffner, by exchange and Designated Purchase Fund
RIGHTS STATEMENT © Ni Youyu
The Brooklyn Museum holds a non-exclusive license to reproduce images of this work of art from the rights holder named here. The Museum does not warrant that the use of this work will not infringe on the rights of third parties. It is your responsibility to determine and satisfy copyright or other use restrictions before copying, transmitting, or making other use of protected items beyond that allowed by "fair use," as such term is understood under the United States Copyright Act. For further information about copyright, we recommend resources at the United States Library of Congress, Cornell University, Copyright and Cultural Institutions: Guidelines for U.S. Libraries, Archives, and Museums, and Copyright Watch. For more information about the Museum's rights project, including how rights types are assigned, please see our blog posts on copyright. If you have any information regarding this work and rights to it, please contact copyright@brooklynmuseum.org. If you wish to contact the rights holder for this work, please email copyright@brooklynmuseum.org and we will assist if we can.
CAPTION Ni Youyu (Chinese, born 1984). Brooklyn Galaxy, 2014. Metal, pigment Brooklyn Museum, Bequest of Dr. Bertram H. Schaffner, by exchange and Designated Purchase Fund, 2019.9. © artist or artist's estate (Photo: , 2019.9_overall_PS11.jpg)
IMAGE overall, 2019.9_overall_PS11.jpg., 2019
"CUR" at the beginning of an image file name means that the image was created by a curatorial staff member. These study images may be digital point-and-shoot photographs, when we don\'t yet have high-quality studio photography, or they may be scans of older negatives, slides, or photographic prints, providing historical documentation of the object.
RECORD COMPLETENESS
Not every record you will find here is complete. More information is available for some works than for others, and some entries have been updated more recently. Records are frequently reviewed and revised, and we welcome any additional information you might have.
Ni Youyu (Chinese, born 1984). <em>Brooklyn Galaxy</em>, 2014. Metal, pigment Brooklyn Museum, Bequest of Dr. Bertram H. Schaffner, by exchange and Designated Purchase Fund, 2019.9. © artist or artist's estate (Photo: , 2019.9_overall_PS11.jpg)