Penny, Janine and I attended the Pop-up Video Installation and Performing Art exhibition at Apostrophe’s this evening. (1100 Oak Street, Syracuse, New York) It was a three-hour event. Artist Yilu Yang from Shanghai, China is currently a graduate student in the Department of Transmedia at Syracuse University.
Her show was titled Subconsciously Flowing Water. Yilu’s interest in nature stems from a yearning to seek its innate tranquility, a sanctuary from the contemporary man-made life-in-the-fast-lane that has been her experience growing up in a big city. Her films are self-portraits, depicting herself creating narratives that represent an intimacy with water, sand and the landscape of Earth while also acknowledging the customs, poetry and history of her heritage.
Her colleagues, fellow students and friends gathered for a critique led by Laura Heyman, Associate Professor in the Department of Transmedia and D.J. Hellerman, Curator of Art & Programs at the Everson Museum of Art. The Everson has one of the largest collections of Video Art in the nation (who knew?) and so, the museum works closely with the university to promote and guide students in their respective artistic journeys.
Heyman asked what direction she felt her art was going, other than to be viewed in this gallery space? Yilu Yang remained poised as she answered. Her audience ventured closer to hear her soft spoken response. She was clear in her vision, that her work is both personal and universal in that it allows the viewer to ponder the peaceful inner being while questioning their place in society. It may become more political or not, depending on where it takes her – back to China or on an extended path around the world.
I see it as the beauty in escape – that we can all benefit from unplugging from society and focusing on creating our own imaged histories, rewriting our realities and then revisiting ourselves in the physical. In this way, we seek and find our true happiness.
I see a lot of wonderful things in Yilu’s future. She found a fit with Syracuse and with the United States – mainly, the freedom to express her vision with determined fluidity. <3