"Hardly Soft" is on view from Nov 18th to Nov 26th
Curated by Kevy Haiyang Yang
Yiwei Gallery is pleased to present its May Exhibition, "Earth is Just a Rock," in honor of AAPI Month. Curated by Kevy Yang, this exhibition features the works of AAPI artists Zhiheng Gong, Richard Nam, Malavika Rao, and Peter Wu+. Through their diverse artistic mediums, including painting, ceramics, textiles, videos, and crochet work, these artists invite viewers to explore the intriguing interplay between science and mysticism.
Earth is Just a Rock considers the shifting dichotomy between these two realms - how the two become increasingly intertwined, yet neither can escape feelings of fragility, impermanence, and transformation. Our monstrous creations, in the name of evolution and technology, have muddied the water for humanity’s legacy on this planet, but the fleeting poetics of our existence demands us to move forward nonetheless. The erratic beating of our hearts and the obsession of our minds start when we hit our lowest, and strangely enough, it is in those moments of vulnerability we are most open to confronting our greatest growth.
Working across media including painting, ceramic, textile, video, and crochet work, the participating AAPI artists of this exhibition explore how paradise and apocalypse are constructed, reclaimed, and torn down in relation to our contested legacies on this rock. They recognize that our ability to hold onto our boyish, childlike fragility is key to unlocking our magic. Earth is just a rock without the voices of art, and we are responsible for transforming the unreal into the real and the real into the imaginary.
Exhibition Duration: May 20 - June 10, 2023
Artist Reception: Saturday, May 20, 2-6 pm
Opening Hours: Thursday - Sunday 12-5pm, By Appointments
Based in Los Angeles, Malavika Rao (she/they) works in painting, ceramics, fibre and installation. In her work, Malavika uses craft to build time machines. The knowledge of craft grants the power of time travel because it is typically passed down from hand to hand, from one to another. Through time travel, Malavika is able to communicate with the past to further understand it, and envision multiple futures. In her work, Malavika aims to create new worlds at the intersection of these pasts and futures for herself, in the hopes that these spaces can be powerful realms of healing, resistance and love.
Zhiheng Leo Gong is a Chinese Spatial & 3D Designer, installation Artist, currently based in Detroit. He has become a teaching artist at College for Creative Studies since 2022.
Richard Nam is a multimedia artist who primarily works within the mediums of ceramics, drawing, painting, and printmaking. The recent work presents a variety of ancient, monstrous creatures that used to roam the earth two-hundred-thirty million years ago. Through scenic and portraiture gestures, Nam explores these ruling reptiles across both tranquil and apocalyptic landscape, some in motion and others anthropomorphized.
Additionally, he has been creating unique dinosaur sculptures that act as vessels for plant life. While whimsical and playful, these sculptures, referred to as "Dino-Pots," carry a message about the fragility of life and powerful forces of nature that have shaped our world. In this way, Nam’s artwork deeply cares about human social life and the urban/ ecological environments; he sometimes enjoys making work about Cows and Cats!
Peter Wu+ is a Los Angeles-based artist whose practice is characterized by a keen engagement with the role of technology in shaping our perceptions of reality, identity, and history. Utilizing modeling and rendering software, 3D printing, projection mapping, and machine learning, Wu+ creates thought-provoking artworks and immersive environments that address the complexities of our technologically-driven society. In 2020, Wu+ founded EPOCH, an artist-run virtual exhibition space that serves as a platform for showcasing and disseminating contemporary digital art practices. With a focus on community building and inclusivity, EPOCH represents a significant contribution to the field of contemporary art and its engagement with digital technologies. In 2023, Wu+ was the recipient of the EYEBEAM Fractal Fellowship. He was awarded the COLA Individual Artist Fellowship and a commission for the Public Art Division with the Los Angeles World Airports Arts Exhibition Program in 2019, which was completed in 2022 and on view until October 2023. Wu+ has been a speaker at prominent art institutions such as the Art Center College of Design, USC Roski School of Art and Design, Christie’s LA, and the Frieze Art Fair. He received his MFA from the San Francisco Art Institute and his BFA from the University of Windsor.
Kevy (Haiyang) Yang, is a Los Angeles-based Chinese curator. He received his B.A. in World, Arts & Culture from UCLA and his M.A. in Curatorial Practices and the Public Sphere program at the USC Roski School of Art and Design.
Yang, a believer in tiny moments over grand gestures, is interested in preserving quotidian moments and dissecting them honestly to reveal patterns about our psyche. His recent curated exhibitions include Michon Sander’s MFA thesis show, All I have to do is stay Black and die, and We Are Close In Distance, an eclectic experience he and his MA cohort organized.