:iidrr Gallery is pleased to announce Mingyue Chen’s solo exhibition "The Land of Nothingness," on view from August 18 to 27, 2023. This exhibition is a deeply introspective exploration of Mingyue’s spiritual homeland, personal experiences, and the profound impact of Chinese philosopher Zhuangzi's teachings on her artistic practice. This exhibition will unfold in a series of interactive installations, reflecting Mingyue's diverse artistic approaches such as video, textiles, paintings, performances, sculpture, and digital art.
"The Land of Nothingness" is a tangible manifestation of Mingyue’s personal explorations for inner peace and spiritual liberation. It dives deep into her feelings of disconnection from her cultural roots and the constant sense of being a foreigner, a sentiment that resonates with many in today's globally connected society. With a thoughtful blend of digital technology, sustainable art, and storytelling, Mingyue leads visitors on an immersive journey of self-discovery, seeking solace in the midst of the chaotic urban jungles she has come to call home.
Drawing on her deep connection to her hometown, Mingyue’s video "Qingyuan Mountain" presents an altered view of the renowned mountain, creating a meditative, immersive experience that reflects Zhuangzi's teachings on nihility and spiritual freedom. She has also interpreted the Taoist concept of chi through physical manifestations, notably water vapor and smoke, which encapsulates the transformative energy of the universe.
The artworks, "Myself, Blood, and Death," and “Witch Rituals”, by Mingyue Chen interweave to create a deeply introspective narrative that reverberates with the themes of the exhibition, "The Land of Nothingness." Through these pieces, Mingyue explores the dynamics of identity, tradition, and spiritual liberation. "Myself, Blood, and Death" delves into Mingyue's personal and feminist narrative. Her use of textiles, specifically the weaving of flags in hues of pink, red, and black, serves as a symbolic exploration of her identity. The colors represent various facets of her existence - the pink echoing her personal experiences and identity, the red embodying women's transformative biological processes, and the black signifying the inevitability of death. These textiles embody the artist's desire to confront societal norms, notably the under-representation of pink flags, and pay homage to the rich history of women's weaving across cultures.
"Witch Rituals" further advance this introspective narrative by drawing on Mingyue's cultural roots and her experiences of alienation and solitude. In "Witch Rituals," Mingyue pays tribute to her Hokkien heritage, specifically the seafaring tradition, through the invocation of the revered goddess of the sea, Mazu Lin Mo. Mingyue's ritualistic waving of her woven flag, a potent symbol of her identity and experiences, on Governor Island serves as an appeal for favorable weather and a subtle reaffirmation of her connection with nature.
Mingyue's introspective journey extends to her experience of living in various cities around the world, as highlighted in her p5.js project, "My Heart / Mon cœur". This piece visualizes her travels and symbolizes the emotional ebb and flow that accompanies the excitement of discovery and the sting of loneliness. In "Uniformity," She strives for the state of "qiwu 齐物," or uniformity with nature, in an immersive performance that is a tribute to both her intuitive artistic process and the profound influence of nature on the human spirit.
"The Land of Nothingness 无何有之乡" is a reflection of Mingyue’s profound explorations for inner peace, a sanctuary where she lays her restless soul. By sharing her journey through her art, Mingyueencourages her audience to contemplate their own relationships with their cultural heritage, their environment, and their spiritual selves.
Mingyue Chen, originally from Quanzhou, China, is a media artist and designer now based in New York City. She received her BFA from New York University's Tisch School of the Arts. Her creative pursuits center around exploring the art, technology, and contemporary society, with a particular emphasis on interactive installations and sustainable art.