Yan Yu

My work seeks to intrude white cube art spaces which are constructed based on a racialized social and gender hierarchy. Often drawing from my personal experience as a first-generation Chinese immigrant to the US, my work surveys the complex relationship between art and social engagement. Exploring subjects as diverse as displacement, generational trauma and my projects are consistent in tonal and formal concerns.

My most recent projects verblist 1820/2020 is a reflection on the Asian-American experience, both from my personal perspective, as well as under the historical and contemporary context. 1860 marks the first wave of Chinese immigrants while 2020 emphasizes the present struggles of Asians and Asian-Americans during the COVID-19 pandemic. Featuring a performance of writing and burning two lists of verbs extracted from research and my personal experiences; each set of verbs construct an imaginative narrative based on actions taken by an Asian person living in the US.

mise en lumière (shed light onto), 2018
求缺宫 (qiuquegong) / The Palace of Questing Imperfection, 2019