Asia

Haegue Yang
Knotty Spell in Windy Drapes

A steel clothing rack adorned with turbine vents, Moroccan vintage jewelry, pinecones and knitting yarn, these heterogeneous elements are used here to create an exotic yet undefined identity within the work. Following Haegue Yang’s 2010 anthropomorphic series Medicine Men, this sculpture appears as a shamanic objet or being. It is mobile and can be activated. One can turn the turbine vents or play the bells to liberate the work’s musical and magical potential. Yang’s work is strewn with performative elements: “it rolls or can be pushed, it folds up, it hangs, floats, dangles, or swings, it rustles, makes sound, or smells.” In this work, nothing is static; everything suggests movement and an unfurling, momentous display of contradiction and transformation.

 

Haegue Yang is one of the leading international artists of her generation. From mundane objects and materials such as venetian blinds, theatrical and decorative lights, infrared heaters, scent emitters, and fans, Yang creates complex and nuanced installations that are informed by poetry, politics, and human emotions. Her works explore hidden spaces that might be considered marginal, but to the artist constitute profound backdrops for understanding vulnerable sites where informal development can occur. In her works, artificial approximations of sensual experiences — heat, light, smell, and humidity—conjure other places, other people. Yang’s work captivates precisely because of its ambiguity, which is rooted as much in the conceptual art of the 1960s and 1970s as it is in current theoretical discourses.