Yu-Chen Wang’s installations breathe new life into Manchester’s industrial past

CHINESE ARTIST RESIDENCY DRAWING VIDEO ART

Taiwanese-born Yu-Chen Wang likes to treat fellow artists in and around Manchester’s Chinese Arts Centre to breakfast, facilitating the sharing of ideas or current work. This is but one of the many things she’s doing as part of her current residency at the Centre, where she is creating drawings and videos based around local architecture.

Yu-Chen Wang, 'Transit', 2010, wood, acrylic, light, colour pencil on paper. Image courtesy Chinese Art Centre.

Yu-Chen Wang, 'Transit', 2010, wood, acrylic, light, colour pencil on paper. Image courtesy of the artist.

Yu-Chen Wang’s Chinese Art Centre residency

From Taiwan to London

Born in Taiwan in 1978, Yu-Chen Wang studied at Chelsea College of Art and Design and at Goldsmiths College, both in London, graduating in 2002 from Chelsea with an MA in Fine Art. Since then she has exhibited widely with shows around Europe and North America.

Yu-Chen Wang’s drawings are beautifully rendered colourful compositions of flowers and machines melding into one another.

-“UltraCreature“, City Inn Westminster (London, UK) 2008

Yu-Chen Wang, 'Love For All', 2008, colour pencil on paper. Image courtesy Chinese Art Centre.

Yu-Chen Wang, 'Love For All', 2008, colour pencil on paper. Image courtesy of the artist.

Industrial Manchester inspires

Manchester seems like the perfect hub for Yu-Chen’s work, given her focus on marrying aspects of nature and plant life with images of machinery and industrial motifs. The artist wrote on her blog:

I feel that Manchester’s past matches my interests and research on British industrial history. I am particularly interested in the Industrial Revolution, the idea of the sources of energy and machines for revolutionising people’s life.

Residency aids artistic development

The aim of the residency, she added, is to research and develop her ideas, rather than produce a final piece of work.

During the residency I will be exploring a new idea that I recently began to develop: drawing as a concept of movement, it is sculptural and performative. I will create structures, lighting, video and live performances to interact with drawings on paper and transform the surrounding space.

She keeps a diary of her work and experiences in Manchester on her Residency Blog. The blog features updates on her activities in the area, artists’ events in the region, discoveries that influence her work as well as news on events that she is running within the Centre, such as the The Breakfast Club and Taiwanese Tea Parties.

Yu-Chen Wang, 'Pile Up', 2010. Image courtesy Chinese Art Centre.

Yu-Chen Wang, 'A Dagger', 2010, dimensions: variable, wood, paint, colour pencil on paper. 2010. Image courtesy of the artist.

The Chinese Arts Centre

Contemporary Chinese art promotion

The Chinese Arts Centre was established in 1986 as an agency designed to promote and assist in the development of contemporary Chinese artists. The original plan was a mulfi-faceted project that aimed to organise exhibitions, residencies, publications and festivals as well as advocacy and support schemes on behalf of its artists. In 2003, the building which is now known as the Chinese Arts Centre built in Manchester offers gallery spaces, residencies and serves as a hub for Chinese artists and art in the UK. The Centre won the RIBA (Royal Institute of British Architects) award in 2004 for its space.

The centre responds to the increasing importance of China and Chinese culture in an international context with shifting centres and sets out to explore what this means for artists and audiences. Our ongoing commitment to an evolving definition of Chinese art uniquely positions us to track changes, recognise trends, and identify emerging artists as to bring pertinent questions to the fore.

Other Chinese Artist Residents

Part of a continuing support for artists of Chinese descent is the Breathe Artist Residency Programme, which Yu-Chen Wang is currently part of. The residency involves a three-month long stay at the Centre. Former resident artists include Gordon Cheung who recently showed at Paris Contemporary Art Week, Hong Kong-based comic and animation artist Kongkee, and US-based interdisciplinary artist Christine Wong Yap.

Liu Ding's 'Gravestone for Rumour Mongers' (2008) was part the Centre's "Liberation" exhibition. Image from virtualcommunity.chinese-arts-centre.org.

Liu Ding's 'Gravestone for Rumour Mongers', 2008 was part the Centre's "Liberation" exhibition. Image from virtualcommunity.chinese-arts-centre.org.

Social and political of interest to Centre

Last year, the Centre held an exhibition entitled “Liberation” which explored current issues in China relating to censorship and public access to social networking sites and other media. The show featured artists with Chinese cultural ties such as Brendan Fan, Yan Xing, Lin Yilin and Liu Ding.

YC/KN/CMS

Related Topics: Chinese artists, residencies, Manchester

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Yu-Chen Wang’s installations breathe new life into Manchester’s industrial past — 2 Comments

  1. Thank you, Geoff, we’re very happy you find our information useful and appreciate the link.

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