NY1 continues its celebration of Asian-American artists with a profile of Chim Chih Yang, who makes vivid work out of mixed media. NY1’s Ruschell Boone filed the following report.
Chim Chih Yang’s artwork is variously described as bold, eccentric and just plain out there.
“I'm looking for any kind of form, or any kind of media or material can carry out my idea,” says Yang.
Those ideas sometimes take the shape of political statements. Yang often uses installation art, photography, painting, sculpture and interactive performances to highlight political issues at home and abroad.
A lot of his work focuses on Taiwan's struggle for independence from China and human rights issues in other Asian countries.
“A lot of people don't even think about it because the political issue in Taiwan is very dangerous,” says Yang. “And here, a lot of the same things. A lot of people don't want to talk about political issues.”
As a result, this previously shy Taiwanese immigrant is trying to create an environment where Asians are encouraged to speak freely, which he says many are not willing to do.
“Asian people are more deep inside and shy to speak up,” says Yang, “and a lot of times we have some kind of question mark in our minds. It's kind of hard for us to express out and to tell people.”
Thus, Yang tries to use humor and art to create a dialogue.
“I say, hey we've got to speak up,” says Yang. “If we think something's wrong, why are we hiding inside?”
Yang is also outspoken about the environment, and it's reflected in a lot of his work. One piece, called “1, 2, 3 Pollution Solution,” is made up of between 300 and 400 soda cans.
Yang hopes it will encourage people to recycle or reuse materials.
To find out more about Yang's work and upcoming performances, visit 123soho.com