LONDON.- Missing Place Missing Face
draws upon the artists experience of the intermittent lockdown culture of the past few years. The show reflects the many contradictory parts of contemporary life; the tension between memory and oblivion, the boundary between personal and public space, individual modes of expression, and the fragments of life experienced. Since lockdown, our perception of reality has become tangled with online interaction and we have been forced to expand and rely on these internet relationships. Society as a collective nation shares a parallel experience of separateness, from itself, its body, its community, and its family. Consequently, this experience of virtual diaspora leads to artists excessive use of virtual space for connection and compounds a sense of estrangement.
Xinan Yang references the highly performative nature of social media platforms. She draws upon the contingent casual use of phone albums which reflect daily experience and contemporary aesthetics. This series exemplifies todays selfie culture which is characterized by intrinsic immediacy and sociality. We have all become heavy producers of the fleeting image. The comparison between an original photo and a glamorized image for social media, the places weve visited, random screenshots, and unexpected text messages from strangers can all be found within our phone albums. This impulse to document instantly speaks to the urgency and superficiality of internet culture.
Image is the material emanation of the past reality as it represents the moment when the subject becomes an object. French theorist Roland Barthes describes this as a "cunning dissociation of consciousness from identity (1981, p12). Xinans bright, satirical paintings capture snapshots of contemporary society, blurring the lines between subject and object as she morphs the recognizably human figures into cartoon-like animated characters. Using masks and carefully placed emojis to create anonymous faceless figures, Xinan navigates the complexity and absurdity of internet culture. She comments upon the mechanical procedure of shooting, posting, scrolling, and repeating, and how this precipitates alienation and disconnection. Xinans paintings capture our collective longing for connection, highlighting the core of what we are missing; the place, the face.
Xinan Yang (b. 1994, China), is a London-based artist whose work deconstructs photographs by painting, integrating quirky narratives that revolve around self-reflection. Xinan Yangs practice raises profound questions on her position, value, belief, identity, and cultural background. Her recent exhibitions include Contemporary Domesticity, Taymour Grahne Projects (London), Emergent Vision, Uncovered Collective (London) and London Grads Now, Saatchi Gallery (London). Previous exhibitions include 10 Degrees Plus, Sprout Art (London), Emergency Art, Platform Southwark (London) and Immurement, The Crypt Gallery (London).