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DAVID ZINK YI | NEUSILBER

During the setup of the installation Neusilber: A conversation with David Zink Yi

March 2022: Equipped with protective goggles and thick gloves, David Zink Yi and the construction team first carefully connect the sharp-edged palm crown made of thin stainless steel to the trunk. The palm is then erected and mounted on the spike anchored in the ground.

With each palm, the effect of the room changes, new lines of sight open up. After an hour of concentrated work, it's done: Seven palms in cool silver - the largest over 4 meters high - tower up into the entrance hall of the office building on Berliner Strasse, transforming it into an urban oasis in the midst of everyday office life.

During the setup of the installation Neusilber: A conversation with David Zink Yi.

© David Zink Yi / Munich Re

With their thin, fragile-looking trunks, the seven stainless steel palm trees are reminiscent of those that characterise the urban space of many cities in the south of the USA. For his installation, David Zink Yi took palm plants of the genus “Washingtonia robusta”, which grow to a height of over 30 m in nature, as a model and had them cast in stainless steel on a scale of approx. 1:10. The palm crowns with their sharp and filigree leaves, otherwise at an inaccessible height for humans, can be experienced in an unusual way from different perspectives in the spatial context of an office building. All cast elements are, like their natural models, unique. The sheets are cut out of thin stainless steel and folded by hand. To achieve this precision, Zink Yi chose stainless steel, although he originally wanted to realise the installation in the shiny silver-white alloy "new silver", which was technically impossible. The title of the work is a reminiscence of the primary idea.

Through the silvery surface of the stainless steel and the precise execution of the lifelike palm trees, Zink Yi creates an atmosphere of cool urbanity between naturalistic form and idealised artificiality. The play with perspective as well as with the contrasts of nature and architecture, outside and inside, creates an inspiring spatial effect - in the midst of everyday office life.