Beijing-based artist Ren Ri bases his work around the relationship between humans and nature. This thinking has led him to an unconventional collaborator in his fascinating set of sculptures – honeybees. Ri choose to work with the insects and their wax, although it’s not the easiest medium to use because it’s unstable and can change shape and temperature. But, that’s the gamble that Ri takes, and it complements the fact that he bases his work around the element of chance.
The artist first began beekeeping in 2008 and two years later felt that his knowledge of it was enough to start working on Yuansu I: The Origin of Geometry, which is a collection of maps made in beeswax. Yuansu II is a continuation on this theme, and sculptures are embedded in transparent plastic polyhedrons. In order to induce the insects to create symmetrical wax sculptures, the queen bee is kept at the center of the geometric space. This causes the bees to gather and start building around the center. Every seven days Ri changed the gravity of the developing honeycomb by rotating the box on a different side, determined by a throw of dice.
These beautifully-peculiar sculptures are the result of what happens when man and nature work together in harmony.