Ausstellungs- und Vermittlungsprogramm
30. August 2020 bis 14. Februar 2021
Mit Einzelausstellungen von David Polzin, Jovana Reisinger, Rosalie Schweiker und Mickey Yang

Die 4. Einzelpräsentation:
Mickey Yang

Aufgrund des anhaltenden Lockdowns werden wir die Einzelausstellung „Upaya“ von Mickey Yang leider nicht mehr für das Publikum öffnen können. Für die Laufzeit des Jahresthemas „Enttäuschung“ (bis 14. Februar 2021) wird „Upaya“ daher digital zugänglich gemacht. Seit heute, Freitag, 5. Februar, besteht für jeden die Möglichkeit, eine videografische und eine fotografische Dokumentation auf der Website der Kunsthalle Osnabrück im Pressebereich herunterzuladen: KUNSTHALLE OSNABRÜCK | PRESSE; auch auf Instagram ist das Projekt in einer Kurzversion sichtbar. „Upaya“ ist die erste institutionelle Einzelausstellung der Künstlerin in Deutschland. Mickey Yangs Ausstellung „Upaya“ zeigt Skulpturen, Klangobjekte und eine Videoarbeit. Die einzelnen Arbeiten sind durch eingebaute Mauern und Wasserbecken verbunden. Das Wort „Upaya“ kommt aus dem Buddhismus und beschreibt den Weg der Erkenntnis, auf dem es auch Missverständnisse geben kann. Lesen Sie dazu auch den Text von Ana Vukadin (>>scroll down>>).

BIOGRAFIE: Mickey Yang (*1988, Eindhoven, NL) lebt und arbeitet in Den Haag. Sie studierte bildende Kunst an der Royal Academy The Hague und der ArtEZ University of the Arts Arnhem. 2017-2018 war sie Stipendiatin am Beeldenstorm/ Daglicht, 2019 bei De Fabriek und 2020/2021 bei der Jan van Eyck Academy (alle NL). Mickey Yang hat ihre Arbeiten vielfach in Einzel- und Gruppenausstellungen gezeigt, unter anderem: bei P////AKT, Amsterdam, auf der Art Rotterdam (beide 2019) und im Kunstvereniging Diepenheim (2017).

FÜR JOURNALIST:INNEN besteht unter Beachtung der geltenden Hygienebeschränkungen die Möglichkeit, die Ausstellung der Kunsthalle Osnabrück (Hasemauer 1) in der kommenden Woche noch einmal zu persönlich besuchen. Vereinbaren Sie dazu einen Besuchstermin. Alternativ besteht jederzeit die Möglichkeit, mit der Künstlerin Mickey Yang oder der Leitung der Kunsthalle Osnabrück zu telefonieren oder auch ein digitales Medium zu nutzen.

Seit Sonntag, 31. Januar haben die bekannten Sonntagsrundgänge ein digitales Format: Interessierte können über die „App Telegram“ der Gruppe „TELE4“ beitreten. TELE4 sendet Fotos, Filme und Texte zur Ausstellung und Handlungsimpulse. Konzipiert wurde das neue Format von dem Vermittlungsteam der Kunsthalle Osnabrück. Sonntags (7.2., 14.2.) zwischen 16-17 Uhr werden Rundgänge durch die Ausstellung von Mickey Yang angeboten. Sie sind kostenfrei und erfordern keine vorherige Anmeldung. Der Zugang zur TELE4-Gruppe erfolgt über den Link: t.me/tele4KH

Sonntag, 7. Februar, 16–17 Uhr
Sonntag, 14. Februar, 16–17 Uhr

Die Ausstellung wird gefördert durch das Niedersächsische Ministerium für Wissenschaft und Kultur, die Stiftung Niedersachsen, den Mondriaan Fund, Stroom Den Haag und die Freund:innen der Kunsthalle. Medienpartner sind KubaParis und das Missy Magazin.

Mickey Yang, Upaya, 2021, Kunsthalle Osnabrück
Von Ana Vukadin

Perhaps one of the greatest lessons the pandemic has taught us is how to deal with disappointment. How we respond to a life which feels permanently on hold – all those cancelled dates, holidays, art shows, concerts, birthday parties, weddings – has come to define how well we are able to cope and, by default, our mental wellbeing. In droves, we turned to yoga, meditation and self-help as both a haven from doomscrolling and an attempt to grapple with the notion that life is beyond our control. As an innate worrier and pessimist, my own coping mechanism evolved into a refusal to make any plans at all so that I could avoid disappointment altogether. I began to look forward to things that would arrive with certainty – the first winter bulbs poking through the ground, spring blossoms, sparrows, strawberries. In an interview during the pandemic, the internationally renowned artist, activist and filmmaker Ai Weiwei describes what brings him joy during lockdown: “To watch a cat or see the sun rise every morning. You know, the bright light penetrating the shadows and the leaves – all those beautiful things around us that are too often neglected.” It’s hard to pinpoint an exact antonym for disappointment, but joy feels about right.

The multi-disciplinary artist Mickey Yang has a talent for coupling gravity with playfulness in her work, and for redirecting our gaze at things that would otherwise pass unnoticed. In an ironic twist of fate, a few months before the pandemic, Yang was invited by the Kunsthalle Osnabrück to have her first international solo show around the theme of ‘Disappointment’. Scheduled to open in the summer of 2020, it kept on being rescheduled until it was ultimately relegated to the digital realm, as things are wont to be during these pandemic times. – With Upaya, Yang has created a wonderous immersive installation that deftly tackles themes of language, craftsmanship, and cultural appropriation peppered with moments of humour and playfulness. Yang is the daughter of Singaporean-Chinese immigrants and this split cultural identity often informs her work. With Upaya, she has taken a deep dive into her Asian heritage, delving into the Western misappropriation of Asian philosophies and spiritual practices in the West’s relentless pursuit of self-optimisation and financial productivity.

– Carefully choreographed kinetic sculptures are synchronised with a video projected onto a screen, whose images are reflected onto the dark water in a pond lying at its base. A soothing husky female voiceover narrates a spoken word historical overview of the West’s romanticisation with and appropriation of Eastern philosophies. At times, it is a medley of direct quotes from Eastern literature combined with contradictory texts from self-help books that misinterpret it. “The interpretations slightly twist our perspective on the east as being traditional and backward,” the voice says hypnotically. “The translation is unintentionally transformed into a magic formula. It has degenerated into an exotic type of self-help.” Against a dark backdrop, a hand rests on a plasma ball, its fluorescent tendrils dancing around like an electric storm. It looks like magic. The video scenes are invariably mesmerising. Yang is a master at making us look at things through a different, brighter lens, bestowing poetry and playfulness to them – whether they depict a lit mosquito coil, effervescent bubbles dancing in a thick, yellow substance or a naked pregnant female form covered in a gauze-like material ruffled by the wind. -Yang’s dexterity at craftsmanship is most evident in her kinetic sculptures. Various musical instruments including a singing bowl, a cymbal and a drum are placed around the space, and are automated so that they alternately provide a pause, a build-up or humour in the text. It is immensely fun to watch them as they are activated by nifty mechanical devices. Elsewhere, a series of illuminated marquees with scrolling neon text advertise adages or proverbs from the video, including “Hard work does not necessarily amount to fortune” and “There is no eye, no ear, no nose, no tongue, no body and no spirit.” – One of the most impressive elements of the show are Yang’s forged metal sculptures:

two mechanical, monumental ‘gatekeepers’ which are activated to glide forwards and backwards at specific intervals, and four metal galvanised panels in wooden frames. They feature Chinese frogwarriors, warriors on horses, the sun and the moon, amongst others. Yang collaborated with a blacksmith to forge and put together these figures, conferring a tangible, solid form to her original drawings of them. The sculptures point to the origin of Chinese characters, which were originally conceived as pictograms. By giving them a material form, Yang ingeniously succeeds in making language more visual and therefore universal. – Everything comes to a standstill as the final words on the video are spoken, the screen turns black and you hear the sound of crickets and owls in the dark of the night.

During the height of the pandemic, back in May, the New York Times posted a video by renowned psychotherapist Esther Perel, titled ‘We’re all grieving. This is how we get through it’. Perel recounts how her father, a Holocaust survivor, once told her “There is laughter in hell.” She goes on to say, “Humour…it gives you distance, it gives you perspective, it makes you feel like you are not at the mercy of something.” Yang’s work provides a welcome respite from all the despair, dullness, and disappointment and does just that – she gives us wonder and humour. [Ana Vukadin ist Autorin und Redakteurin, lebt in Jesi in Italien. Sie schreibt über Kunst, Architektur und Design für Magazine wie frieze, ArtReview und ArtAsiaPacific.]

Bildnachweis: Mickey Yang, Untitled 1, Video, 13:27 min, 2020, Installationsansicht „Upaya
Kunsthalle Osnabrück, 2021. Foto: Lucie Marsmann

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