Duration_ May 26–June 23, 2018
Opening_ Saturday, May 26, 5–8 PM
Opening_ Saturday, May 26, 5–8 PM
Installation Views / Works / Press Release
Gallery Vacancy is pleased to present JOHN YUYI, John Yuyi's first solo exhibition in China. Born in Taiwan in 1991 and originally named Jiang Youyi, she graduated from Shih Chien University in Taipei with a degree in Fashion Design and currently lives and works in New York. John Yuyi has become another avatar, parallel to the artist’s true self and reflected in the ambiguous and whimsical qualities of her artistic practice. Her artistic practice is based on the Internet social mode of the Information Age, emoji aesthetics, brand marketing under consumerism, and the Internet-celebrity phenomenon. It highlights the artist's self-recognition in the real world and the individual image-molding in the virtual world, reveals her reflections on the body and identity, and presents the existential aesthetics and theatricality within young generations’ lives in contemporary society.
John Yuyi's work experience in the fashion industry has given her a sensitive sense for finding new trends and unique aesthetics. In 2014, to celebrate her Facebook fan count reaching 2,000, she launched her Bodypost series, in which she transferred the “Like” label from Facebook and her name “JOHN YUYI” onto her body using water-transferred temporary tattoo stickers, turning her skin into a canvas, her body into an intuitive “face book.” Taking advantage of the temporary and removable nature of the watermark sticker, in 2017 John Yuyi created her Becoming Famous series, in which American popular culture celebrity Kylie Jenner became the image of her transfer sticker. She wore it as a mask and posted selfies on Instagram, receiving enthusiastic responses from the Internet audience.
The ability to gain followers has formed a new class in the online world and become a measure of major brands’ commercial exchange motivation. John Yuyi captured a crowd in a very short amount of time and became a new favorite of brands such as Gucci and NIKE Air Max, with whom she has launched several projects and commercial campaigns. With her insight into the rules of social networking platforms, she simplifies the brand's trademark into pure patterns and icons, then translates the brand's benefits into her most powerful showcase. Being a photographer and a model, a designer and an artist, John Yuyi gradually separates herself from an artist’s own identity through constant superposition and conversion, expanding the possibilities of constructing and reorganizing her identity. Meanwhile, her practice reveals the process by which the audience’s attention toward an Internet icon is constantly alienated and transferred from trademarks to individuals, in a game dominated by business motives.
Through Tinder Match and Back Post, John Yuyi distills theatrical information from her observation of surroundings and puts them into her artistic practice. John Yuyi’s whole creative process could be interpreted as a loop, which begins with the anxiety caused by our daily life amidst social networks and consumerism, and ends with posting them back to the network platform. Mirrors at the entrance further reflect this loop by revealing the ambivalent relationship of self-defining in the world in which we live.
John Yuyi’s portrait photography on transparent films creates another dynamic space. While you are walking through this space, what you see will change, and individual pieces might overlap, depending on your angle of view. This experience, in a way, illustrates John Yuyi’s wandering state with her creative process. The uncertainty helps Yuyi create her unique language: universal, strong, and direct. By utilizing this language, John Yuyi’s accurate capture and expression resonate with the young generation. She gradually becomes the most contemporary representation of our fast-paced society and the swelling subculture phenomenonas an observer.
The exhibition JOHN YUYI intends to unveil what is behind John Yuyi’s virtual world. Yuyi always keeps her curiosity and never stops challenging herself. The unstable relationship between people will always be Yuyi's creative motivation. Her latest work, I Tree To Call You, based on the works of Mouse Cueser and Your Broken Text, is a performance of planting a tree inside of the gallery space and transferring the “communicative information” on each leaf’s surface. This practice might remind you of Yuyi’s work with temporary tattoos because they are both destined to disappear. The transience we see in Yuyi’s work gives John Yuyi limitless possibilities to explore herself, and we hope she always eludes definition.