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lucid / liquid / limpid

[23.03.24 – 27.04.24]


Carrie Yamaoka


12/F, Blue Box Factory Building, 25 Hing Wo Street, Aberdeen, Hong Kong 

(Related files)

Kiang Malingue is pleased to present at its Tin Wan studio space lucid / liquid / limpid, Carrie Yamaoka’s first exhibition with the gallery, also the artist’s first exhibition in Asia. Carrie Yamaoka is a New York-based visual artist whose work spans painting, sculpture, photography and drawing. Featuring mostly recent works and including some works that date back to 2009, the exhibition provides a glimpse of the artist’s handling of material, process and reflectivity, in an evolving body of work that revels in transformation and flux.

The surfaces of silver mylar, urethane resin and vinyl film are reflective here, to varying degrees, also almost topographical, chronicling the trajectory of their facture. Yamaoka is interested in the way error, defect and chance influence the outcome of the object. Black and silver vinyl is acted on by the heat generated by sunlight in her studio and it responds by rippling. Sometimes she pours black paint onto the surface of reflective polyester film, and then rolls it up while still wet; when she unrolls it, the paint lifts off in random traces on the other side of the reflective film—this then forms the basis of 72 by 45 (lift-off) (2023).  She sets up the conditions for things to happen, but does not compose the picture. Always shifting and never static, the artworks in turn set up conditions for the viewer to experience engaging with the object. The viewer becomes author and editor, complicit in the making and re-making of a picture constantly in flux.

The folding and unfolding action Yamaoka performed when making 20 by 16 (black vinyl fold) (2015/2024) left a crease running down the left-hand side of the work. The invisible residue left by the artists fingerprints on the black vinyl had formed a kind of resist. This caused the clear resin the artist poured on top to lift ever so slightly in certain spots over time. This work thus continues to develop in time, re-structuring the artwork set up in the original “photographic” moment almost a decade ago. Yamaoka has recently re-poured a fresh coat of resin on top—a gesture in keeping with her current revisiting of older works.

14.125 by 11.625 (#16) (2013) on view is a part of an ongoing series of cast flexible urethane resin works that began in 2007. Particles of powdered pigment are suspended in resin and poured into a mold along with a sheet of reflective polyester film. The heat generated by the curing of the resin causes the pigment particles to converge towards the center. Several different variables affect the way the particles land and set up: temperature, humidity, viscosity, concentration of pigment, placement. It is another reference to the photographic moment—which runs like a thread throughout Yamaoka’s work.

Yamaoka’s work wrestles with the viewer’s desire to search for an image—”I want the viewer to lurk in that limbo, that place before an image is arrived at.” The only discernible image in the exhibition is Stump (2023), a digital print on synthetic chiffon the artist created for her solo exhibition “seeing is forgetting and remembering and forgetting again” at Wesleyan University in 2023. Returning to a gallery space in which she exhibited her senior thesis project in 1979, Yamaoka witnessed the full development of a beautiful tree outside of the gallery being cut down as she made site visits. Juxtaposing the image of a hard, natural material with light, diaphanous synthetic chiffon, Stump shows the trace of the tree with an X mark on it before it was completely removed. It is not only evocative of multiple topics such as memory, time, and climate change, but is also operative as a metaphor for Yamaoka’s singular photographic practice which is concerned with changes and developments in time and space.

(About Carrie Yamaoka)

Carrie Yamaoka is a visual artist whose work spans across painting, photography and sculpture. She is interested in the topography of surfaces, materiality and process, the tactility of the barely visible and the chain of planned and chance incidents that determine the outcome of the object. Her work engages the viewer at the intersection between records of chemical action/reaction and the desire to apprehend a picture emerging in fleeting and unstable states of transformation. Exhibitions include the ICA (Philadelphia), MOMA/PS1 (New York), Palais de Tokyo (Paris), Centre Pompidou (Paris), Fondation Ricard (Paris), the Henry (Seattle), Artists Space (New York), the Wexner (Columbus), Leslie Lohman Museum (New York), Victoria and Albert Museum (London) and MassMOCA. Writing about her work has appeared in the New York Times, Artforum, Art in America, Artnews, The New Yorker, Time Out/NY, Hyperallergic, Interview and Bomb. Her work is included in the collections of the Albright-Knox, the Art Institute of Chicago, Dallas Museum of Art, Henry Art Gallery, and Centre Pompidou. She is the recipient of a John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship (2019) and an Anonymous Was A Woman award (2017). She is a founding member of the queer art collective fierce pussy. She lives and works in New York.