Magazine article Artforum International

Galerie Fur Zeitenossische Kunst: Jun Yang. (Reviews)

Magazine article Artforum International

Galerie Fur Zeitenossische Kunst: Jun Yang. (Reviews)

Article excerpt

Jun Yang's method is simple and catchy: juxtaposing Western symbols with Eastern ones. The large, fifteen-piece wall work From... D./How to Do That?, 2001, in the style of instruction cards provided on airplanes, for instance, juxtaposes Eastern and Western greeting customs. Chopsticks/How to Do That?, 2001, consists of three large light boxes imparting wordless directions for the implements' use--a motif that recurs in BA006 Chicken with curry rice, 2001, where a few pictorial elements applied to the wall and a spare text relate the artist's melancholy thoughts on the matter of chopsticks.

Yang's family moved to Vienna in 1979, when he was four--too young for him to have retained clear memories of his homeland--and his parents opened a Chinese restaurant in Vienna. "What else could they do?" he asks in Coming Home: Daily Structures of Life, 2000-01. In this central, penetrating installation, Yang speaks of his childhood in Vienna--he says he and his family were "more Chinese than the Chinese in China"--and of the small but significant differences between his daily life and that of his Western friends. Thus his mother wouldn't call him to the dinner table with a brief "food's ready." He could (or rather had to) choose something from the menu every day, for the restaurant was the center of their lives--their sitting room, kitchen, and meeting place for friends. "Meals were something public," Yang says laconically.

Four chairs faced a monitor on which this story was told, nearly without images. Other than a few clips from Hollywood films showing scenes that take place in Chinese restaurants, each no more than a few seconds long, the screen remained black--a perfect way to encourage viewers to create their own mental images. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.