Outset Study Commissions
Drawing Room, London, UK
27 January 2017
3 December 2016
5 November 2016
Study 2016 coloured pencil on paper 150x240cm
The work of contemporary artist Yu-Chen Wang asks fundamental questions about human identity at a key point in history, where eco-systems and techno-systems have become inextricably intertwined. At the same time, Yu-Chen’s Taiwanese origins, combined with a London-based career, have created a vision that is personal and autobiographical.
Yu-Chen Wang’s newly commissioned work for Outset Study at Drawing Room combines discoveries from a recent visit to the remote Taiwanese Pacific Island of Lanyu (literally translated Orchid Island) with her experience of open-ended reading sessions in Outset Study.
The culmination of an intense period of travel and work, these two experiences have enabled the artist to re-engage with her creative process. The resulting work draws a parallel between these two distant and disparate places, which occupy a kindred place in the artist’s mind. It seeks to understand such spaces of isolation and meditation, pondering their idiosyncratic systems and obsolete technologies, out of step with the current pace of life, and ultimately probe their generative and regenerative potential.
A conversation between the artist and Outset Study librarian Yamuna Ravindran can be seen here.
Annotations is a series of artist residencies resulting in new commissions for Outset Study. Supported by Veronique Parke and Outset Contemporary Art Fund.
The Island: A New Chapter
Yu-Chen Wang’s new performative work marks the culmination of her Annotations residency in Outset Study. Performed by actress Akiya Henry, this work involves interaction with selected books in Outset Study and a reading from Wang’s new writing.
Wang’s performance is informed by her fascination with the solitary activity of picking up a book, which brings this physical object, the contents of which are rooted in the past, into the present. Similarly, her individual processes, both drawing and writing, share this quality of shifting perception of time – the paper enlivened by the viewer’s engagement. Her new sci-fi writing, co-authored with Ming-Jiun Tsai, references the ‘Pacific trash vortex’, a mass of marine debris in the central North Pacific Ocean. A flip-flop is the central character of the novel which muses on the “Kuroshio Current”, a north-flowing ocean current on the west side of the North Pacific Ocean that is a potential source of renewable energy, if it can be effectively harvested.