dépendance is pleased to present Haegue Yang’s Sample Book, the third solo exhibition by the artist at dépendance, Brussels. Yang conceptually integrates dépendance’s renewed venue of two exhibition spaces mirrored architecturally into the constellation of her works: the two spaces construct a parallel environment that echo each other in tension.
Yang’s fascination and interest in various cataloging systems of fabrication have been reflected in previous works, such as a series of paper collages, titled Hardware Store Collages (since 2012) in which Yang also worked with various sale catalogues of popular retailers of tools, stationery and building materials. Yang has also been very interested in standardization and the use of it that she conceived and published two types of graph paper pads, one in A4 format in 2000 and another in A3 format in 2013, in collaboration with Jeong Hwa Min (Grid Bloc A3 is available at the gallery for the retail price of 24 Euro).
Reflecting these on-going interests, Samples – Wai Hung Weaving Factory Limited, Hong Kong (2015) emerged as a direct citation of sample sheets. Formed in nine framed panels, each sample sheet demonstrates the variety of fabric band weaving of a fabricator, Wai Hung Weaving Factory in Hong Kong. The narration of this product sample is rendered by particular and elaborated conception of frames, inspired by Austrian-Italian architect and designer, Ettore Sottsass (1917-2007). Yang studied the formalistic details of fabric bands, with their playful and rich, yet ordered appearance. These repetitive sample sheets (mostly 6 sheets in one frame) with many windows are now articulated through passepartout in primary colors and b/w striped frames, suggesting an ambivalent narrative of rigid production as well as playful visuality.
Demonstrating ideas of grid and repetition, Yang presents two of her new blind series, titled Sol LeWitt Upside Down, occupying one of the two identical spaces. Sol LeWitt Upside Down – 1 4 1, Expanded 360 Times (2015) and Sol LeWitt Upside Down – Maquette for Outdoor Sculpture, Expanded 54 Times (2015), combine Venetian blinds, with a minimalistic compositional strategy. Appearing as if to expand and dissolve in air, the Sol LeWitt Upside Down series brings the artist’s process of development to a new turning point, in which she attempts to liberate herself from the urge of composition, while also pursuing a leap in the interpretation of the materiality of Venetian blinds. By the artist’s act of turning the original work upside down and expanding it to a great degree, a certain degree of liberation ensues from the compositional urge. Disconnecting from Yang’s previous abstract language, Yang breaks down the investigations of color, structure and form produced by her original method of abstraction, evoking Sol LeWitt to excavate and dispose of basic compositional styles. In referencing a concrete work of art, the language of Sol LeWitt Upside Down chooses an approach distinct from a postmodern parody, resulting in the deliberate loss of the concreteness of a historical person and event and their related narratives.
Sol LeWitt’s sculptures are produced by creating forms with geometrical units, namely cubes, that are repeated according to certain rules. He created a series of various structures in white, where the volume of the structures’ constituent cubes is determined through a reduced framework of straight edges. Yang’s Sol LeWitt Upside Down – 1 4 1, Expanded 360 Times and Sol LeWitt Upside Down – Maquette for Outdoor Sculpture, Expanded 54 Times are direct references to Sol LeWitt’s 1 4 1 (1981) and Maquette for Outdoor Sculpture (1983). Yang replaced the edges that served as basic units delineating the volume of the sculpture’s squares, with the faces of sets of blinds. Installed in midair, the sculpture becomes more opaque as its volume increases and the layers of blinds accumulate, while in the lower areas the units maintain their thin density and spatial transparency. Moreover, the clear geometrical structure of the sculpture constantly transforms freely with the ever-delicate changes in the natural light of the space.
Mounted on the wall, Sonic Rotating Geometries (since 2013) are Sonic Sculptures that can be rotated by hand to produce the rattling sound of bells. Once the sculpture is set in motion, the geometric shapes begin to blur and at high speed, eventually becomes circularby way of an optical illusion. With an identical diameter to this movement is vinyl in gold, copper and silver in the background. Through the suspension and rotation, a visual effect of colors blending with the background occurs. The phenomenological interaction generated by the physical movement of the work, its momentary shape, the sound of the bells tinkling, the optical illusion and the blending of colors lead the viewers to imagine a heightened possibility where ordinary objects tremble and individual entities reverberate.
Currently, Leeum, Samsung Museum of Art, Seoul is hosting Yang’s second institutional solo show in Korea, titled Shooting the Elephant 象 Thinking the Elephant (until May 10th) and her unique and new outdoor piece An Opaque Wind (2015) is currently on view at Sharjah Biennale 12. After a residency at Atelier Calder this summer, her first solo show in China will open in October 2015 at UCCA Beijing.