Yan Gi Cheng, Schrodingers Hat, acrylic paint and pencil on paper
British, b. 1981, playing from New York City, NY, USA
Yan Gi Cheng is a British born Chinese artist based in Brooklyn, New York. His art practice aims to bring together and create new contingencies between art, philosophy, religion, science and design. His work explores the disparate trajectories across these disciplines, often forcing contradictory gestures and relations to coexist as one. Coming from both western and non western cultures has been a catalyst to find ways of making art which transcends national categorization. Yan's art practice started whilst working alongside avant garde designer Hussein Chalayan, creating high tech concept fashion and video art for his shows 'Temporal Meditations' and 'Anthropology of Solitude' in London and Paris. After his experience in the fashion industry he decided to pursue an MFA in Contemporary Art at Chelsea College of Art under the tutorship of American artist Michael Corris of the Art and Language conceptual art group.
At Woodmill Neckinger Depot London, he exhibited his video 'Omen' in the show 'The Devils Necktie'. This work is a kaleidoscope of a real life experience of a bird trapped in a room. A chaotic dance of contained flight is captured at a window, with trees rhythmically swaying outside forming a mandala like shape. 'Horizon' was exhibited in the show 'Pale Blue Dot', a slowed down digitally manipulated video of what appears to be a human figure traversing a horizon line. Both these works allude metaphorically to esoteric states of consciousness. Yan's work has been featured in the New York section of the Art-I- curate London platform. His work 'In Search of Civilisation' is a series of silk screened collages, which investigate the integration of tangible and intangible poetics of life within and outside of cultures we define. Yan has also exhibited at Exit Gallery, Boom Gallery, Osage Sigma and Kapok Gallery in Hong Kong. In his solo show titled 'Xiangwai zhi Xiang (representation beyond representation) and Jingwai zhi Jing (landscape beyond landscape) he presented a series of mixed media photography on wooden geometric configurations which had luminous shadows emanating from behind by the natural fluorescent lacquer spray paint. These works dealt with social, natural and intimate worlds within us and cultural exile. In 2013, he was invited to New York by Nathalie Angles of Residency Unlimited to be an artist in residence. This residency culminated in a group show entitled 'Liminal Inversions' curated by Jodi Waynberg of Artists Alliance Inc. His almost static video and sound installation blurred the boundaries between painting and video, as a negation to the high speed instantaneous velocities of perception in modern life. It was a documentation of a daily ritualistic intervention of frozen Chinese and Indian ink left at high noon to disintegrate as a response to the collective memories of natural disaster. He also has been an artist in residence at the Wassaic project in upstate New York. His artwork 'Axis Mundi' was selected for the annual Summer arts festival. This work collides both sacred and profane icons; the skull, mandala, geometric formalism and neurological brain patterns. Utilising outmoded craft techniques from domestic life and Native American indigenous culture, relations and associations are familiar yet estranged.