Renqian Yang

Artist Statement

My recent works reflect my experiences of migration and survival, while also exploring the conflict between the individual and society. The physical and social tensions that individuals experience during periods of transition highlight human vulnerability, desire, desperation and lack of belonging. Anxiety shapes my clay. I create pieces that symbolize everyday emotions, worry, desire, culture and the self. A red line shows movement from one point to another, it traces our lives as we migrate, it maps our histories, and it leaves behind physical as well as emotional memories

I am particularly interested in binaries. My work addresses both the unity and the contradiction of dichotomies: restriction and freedom; complexity and simplicity; correctness and abstraction;tragedy and comedy. At the same time, my work explores the distance and relations between the individual and nature; individual and society; and the individual and his or her own feelings and desires. In my ceramic practice, I use both traditional and nontraditional methods and mixed media. Exploring the ways in which clay relates with other media has produced both challenges and opportunities for greater expression. In many of my projects, I combine ceramics with video, voice, drawing, fiber, printmaking, painting and other media. The various potential uses of different materials provide a framework for experimentation that compels me to take greater expressive risks. How to make connections between my ideas and materials, outcomes and processes, objects and spaces, as well as the artwork and viewers are questions I continually consider in my studio practice.

-- Renqian Yang


Renqian Yang obtained her BFA in ceramics from the Sichuan Fine Arts Institute in Chongqing, China in 2009. In 2014, she graduated with her MFA in Ceramics from Syracuse University, New York. In addition to clay, Yang’s studio practice includes installation, sculpture, mix media, drawing, painting and video. She has exhibited in New York, Berlin and Chongqing, China. Yang was teaching Drawing and Color theory at Cazenovia College in 2014. Presently, she is working as an artist and a Visiting Assistant Professor in the Art & Art History Department at St. Lawrence University, NY, teaching Ceramics and Drawing course.

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