Yu-Chen Wang: Full Circle 2022
Video projection 14'00", sound, wood, paint, coal
Newly commissioned artwork Full Circle by Yu-Chen Wang explores Doncaster’s industrial heritage, where nature and technology collide.
Creating an immersive cinematic video installation, Yu-Chen Wang took railwayana as a starting point for exploring Doncaster’s relationship to coal. With the support of local historians, geologists and environmentalists, this collaborative inquiry into regeneration and rewilding looks at the landscape surrounding South Yorkshire in the context of two major crises we are facing: inequality and environment.
Peat bogs, water, coal are dominant features within the local landscape formed through the layering of time and compression of matter. Pitheads, slag heaps, mining subsidence and flooding, the edgelands are still full of post-industrial scars and traces. All of which are revealed through evocative moving images and a soundscape, which portray and reflect on these problems within a global condition to re-imagine new routes into the future.
The artist’s research focuses on how technologies enable movement of people, goods and information, as well as exploitation of natural resources and labour; how the land and ecologies, even our planet, have been altered and transformed through these activities. In this anthropogenic environment, a new version of nature is emerging—wildlife and modernity clash, human and non-human worlds entangle—a coevolution of human communities and their landscapes.
Full Circle, although composed of images and places captured locally, asks us how Doncaster sits within a broader international landscape as we did once before.
Yu-Chen Wang says:
“My work is largely informed by the history of places, collective memories, individuals’ stories, and the relationships I have established with these places and people. Various methods, including undertaking artist in residencies, conducting field research, developing collaborations and site-responsive projects across the UK and internationally have served as important processes for connecting places and people, whilst exploring and reconfiguring my own evolving cultural identity.”
Yu-Chen Wang is a Taiwanese-British artist who lives and works in London. Her work 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, her Taiwanese origins, combined with a London-based career, have created a vision that is personal and autobiographical. She has exhibited internationally, including at Science Gallery London, Manchester Art Gallery, FACT(Liverpool), CCCB(Barcelona) and Taipei Fine Arts Museum, and recently received the Honorary Mention Collide International Award, CERN(Geneva).
Sound design: Kristian Craig Robinson aka Capitol K
Cinematography: James Lockey, Tyrone Braithwaite
Technical installation: Andrew Quinn
Filmed in the Humberhead Peatlands National Nature Reserve, Hatfield; the Lindholme Old Moor, Hatfield Moors; Gomde UK Buddhist Centre, Hatfield; Hatfield Colliery, Stainforth; the Doncaster Grammar School Railway Collection at Hall Cross Academy; Mexborough near Denaby Ings
Archives: Heritage Doncaster, the Doncaster Grammar School Railway Collection
Warren Draper of Bentley Urban Farm/Doncopolitan; Sasha Gray; Simon Pickles of North & East Yorkshire Ecological Data Centre; Michael Oliver of The Lindholme Old Moor Management Group; Paulette Benjamin of Gomde UK Buddhist Centre; Nicola Fox of Doncaster Museum
With financial support from Doncaster Culture and Leisure Trust (DCLT); Department of Cultural Affairs, Taipei City Government, Taiwan.
Yu-Chen Wang: FULL CIRCLE
5 FEB – 9 APR 2022
Danum Gallery, Library and Museum (DGLAM), Doncaster, UK
Curated by Mike Stubbs
Commissioned by Doncaster Creates
Full Circle Forum: Sat 26 MAR 1-3pm
Yu-Chen Wang – Artist
Liz McIvor – Historian, Trust Manager of Co-operative Heritage Trust
Louise Hill – Ecologist, member of the Lindholme Old Moor Management Group
Michael Oliver – Naturalist, member of the Lindholme Old Moor Management Group
Damian Allen – CEO, Doncaster Borough Council, A ‘Systems Thinker in Action’ and committed to a Regenerative Future
Simon Pickles – Director of North & East Yorkshire Ecological Data Centre
Mike Stubbs – Curator of the exhibition
A forum to discuss our current post-industrial landscapes, the value of South Yorkshire’s best natural assets and environmental challenges in response to a newly commissioned artwork, Full Circle by Yu-Chen Wang, which explores Doncaster’s industrial heritage, where nature and technology collide.
Presentations by passionate environmentalists, industrial historians and artists will trace how our industrial past has changed our natural environment, even though we don’t always see this.
How can we learn from the interaction between historic and natural environments?
How will nature and environment be a significant part of Doncaster’s future?
How can we progress the idea of the Great Fen?
How can we find ways to engage in the conservation of our peatlands, the wildlife and ecology?
This is a moment to think about how art and environmental science move closer together in Doncaster through the launch of artists’ residencies, Re-wilding the System & Symbiosis the Art of Living with Water, leading to an arts and ecology lab.