Born in China in 1995, Liang Yaya is an artist based in London. She studied at China Central Academy of Fine Arts (BA, 2018), and at the Royal College of Art (MA, 2020). Liang's work has exhibited in recent group shows: Final, not Over, Unit 1 Gallery, London, UK; The Circular Ruins, Hockney Gallery, RCA, London, UK; Oh, dear, Safe House, London, UK; Plastic Tongue, White House Gallery, London, UK; Lay with me, Dyson Gallery, RCA, London, UK; Work in Process, RCA, London, UK. Liang is a member of 5156 Ltd. which is an artist-run, not-for-profit association founded in Sep 2019 based in London.
My practice, build on painting, installation, and object that treat both animals and humans’ figures and spaces in heteronormativity, racialism, and animacy hierarchies intersectionally by considering the insistence collisions of race, animality, sexuality, and ability in the context of China. The references, of which artworks in this research, span from Chinese legendary Beasts, to the hybrid creatures combining objecthood and animality in posthuman subcultures of “furries”; in pursuit of a fluid queer identity only possible through hybridization, aiming to test “animal”s viability as an alternative from an autobiographical context.
Keep being in danger
Keep being in danger
Safe and danger, it’s a story based on community and outcasts, and on the feeling of alienation that one can experience both externally and internally, as a stranger in the UK. A portrait of a black monster looming in a pink mirror, a portrait of a pink long-tongued animal tamed by a giant, two non-human animals staring at each other in space. In Western folklore, monsters often undergo processes of bodily manipulation in which they are torn apart and stitched together into Frankensteinian forms. Estranged, dispossessed, misunderstood, and feared — they are eternally othered, in other words, they are queer.
Spear of Longinus, 2020, oil and acrylic on canvas, 163 x 78 cm
Du Du Du Du, 2020, oil and acrylic on canvas, 163 x 78 cm
Classic down-class couple, 2020, oil and acrylic on canvas, 97 x 78 cm
The best Valentine, 2020, acrylic on canvas, 94 x 40 cm
A single wedding, 2019, acrylic on canvas, 165 x 90 cm
Come closer, 2019, acrylic on canvas, 100 x 60 cm
And the thought of applying eastern animal’s mythology is from the desire to start a conversation without appropriating western/white gaze, and address this experience of being an outsider which actually is an insider before using the language and collective memory of a certain kind of folklore with a common understanding. My intention of applying is to provide alternative perspectives through the lens of the other: the monster, the pet, the partner; an alternative perspective that is apart from the conventional viewpoint that otherness and stigmatization.
Like many other Western iconic tale from my childhood, Cinderella has an embedded magic change of “outsider” whoever ever is not considered rich, beauty, clean, and healthy. Because of this magic whatever it is voluntary or artificial, the protagonist is finally becoming an “insider” and living with her prince forever. In many counties, Cinderella is the pinnacle of happy love story. Everyone who have a dream of perfect love wants to put on the glass slipper. But someone who stand outside of the heteronormative can’t squeeze their feet into the glass slipper. Immigrants, people of color, laborers, and working-class subjects, women, queer subjects, disabled people which are normative dismissals, might be likened to cut their feet like cinderella’s sisters. In this level, every cinderella’s “dicks” have been disappeared.