Every creation is like a serendipitous encounter with art that takes place unexpectedly. –– Yu-Ching Wang
This exhibition features Yu-Ching Wang’s works created based on her various encounters in New York from 2019 to 2021. With a series of observations, explorations and actions, she documents these intriguing experiences with images.
Neighbors is about her unexpected encounters with her “neighbors,” whom she has never met. The studio was located on the seventh floor of an industrial building for food production (Pfizer building) in New York. When the artist moved into the studio, she discovered two fist-sized holes that went all the way through the studio’s concrete floor, allowing her to see the space downstairs. She began sending specific objects to indirectly deliver messages, engaging her “neighbors” in interactions. Wang and her “neighbors” had never talked or interacted face to face. However, through the peculiar spatial structure, she was able to connect two groups of people who had nothing in common whatsoever in society, dissolving barriers of languages, cultures, races and social identities. With simple human actions, she has established an unusual but real relationship.
The series, entitled Breathing in New York, is inspired by three seemingly unrelated but concurrent events that happened to the artist in New York: 1. The plastic bag ban issued by the State Government of New York in March 2020, which demanded that supermarkets could no longer provide plastic bags to their customers; 2. In the same month, the COVID-19 pandemic broke out in New York, forcing people to start living with masks; 3. The third is Wang’s personal experience of racial discrimination. She was walking on the streets of Manhattan with her mask on, and two white men shouted, “Chinese, Mask,” at her. The experience inspired her to cover her entire head; then, perhaps people would not be able to recognize her.