Yu-chen Wang: Breathe Residency
21 February – 14 May 2011
Yu-Chen Wang ‘s practice primarily explores the notion of representation, distortion and transformation. She is curious about everyday objects and surroundings and how she can add individual elements and bring various components together to transform them into something extraordinary. During her residency here Yu-Chen chose to focus on an architectural approach to space, creating interventions in new drawings, installation and film work, linking directly to Manchester’s industrial past – its stories, architecture and machinery. Starting from an initial conversation with Adam Daber Curator (Industry) at the Museum of Science of Industry, Yu-Chen was able to take stories and images from this visit and to focus on specific elements of Manchester’s industry rich history to develop into new visual works.
The Open Studio work showcases a major collaborative project that crosses over from the residency space into a site-specific installation taking place at Victoria Baths this Saturday. The performance and film work, spanning across the Female Pool, Female Club Room and the Aerotone of the baths, is part of the FutureEverything Festival, running between 10-4pm with the main performance at 2pm.
Yu-chen Wang, Breathe Artist in Residence at Chinese Arts Centre, Manchester 2011
The work that exists between the residency space and Victoria Baths reflects two lines of investigation. Yu-Chen’s exploration of Manchester’s industrial past is showcased alongside responses to the artist’s visit to Victoria Baths. From these elements, Yu-Chen devised a story, The Splash and A Last Drop, with Bob Dickinson (BBC). The story tells of the disappearance of water from the baths and a mystical journey the artist and her machine (a spaceship in this instance) go through to discover its whereabouts. Evidence of the story appears physically within the Open Studio, such as the bench where the audience are invited to sit and wait their turn to ascend the ladder and enter the spaceship. In the performance and installation at Victoria Baths, the film work shows an all too familiar set, the residency space and its ladder acting as the portal between the studio and the ladders in the Aeratone. Yu-Chen has been collaborating with members of MMU media lab, The Cavendish Singers, local actress Katherine Godfrey, designers Aliyah Hussain and Valpuri Virihala amongst many other performers.
Yu-Chen’s work is a clever response to her environment, both Chinese Arts Centre’s residency space and Victoria Baths; bringing small details to the audience’s attention. Working with existing architecture, found objects and changing light in the space, alongside her preoccupation with industrial machinery and its history, her work celebrates these environments with a playful installation, performance and film work not to be missed.