Frank WANG Yefeng, The House of the Solitary

December 2, 2023 – January 28, 2024
Smack Mellon

92 Plymouth St.
Brooklyn, NY

Image courtesy of the artist.

Image courtesy of the artist.

The House of the Solitary extends from a series of video animations created by Frank WANG Yefeng in the summer of 2020 and reimagined as an uncanny domestic installation for this exhibition, combining poems, 3D rendering, texts sculpted in VR, and distorted soundtracks of airline on-hold music. Sparked by the artist’s unexpected and prolonged lockdown experience in Berlin, the exhibition quietly remarks on the mental paradigm shifts caused by the global isolation of the 2020 pandemic.

Installed on suspended monitors, the animations depict non-human everyday objects, such as a Kinder egg, a stovetop espresso pot, and a pack of cigarettes. Each transforms into a character that repeatedly inflates and deflates via computer dynamic simulations, physically fluctuating between states of mundane and strange. Accompanying the objects are poems written by the artist then sculpted into 3D-rendered text that borrows the visual information of the respective object. In the background, the music elongates time into a taunting and perpetual loop.

Carriers of the heightened sense of empathy and ambivalence distinct to the moment they were created, the characters are markers of the interstitial existence of this extended pause, which fundamentally altered perceptions of a forthcoming future. The environment captures the mundane ways that lived-reality seemed to pull apart from itself, splitting known categories into fragments of in-betweenness. Although rooted in a moment in the recent past, the exhibition encapsulates the subtle exhaustion and absurdity that bears heavily on how the status quo continues to operate.

Frank WANG Yefeng is a trans-disciplinary artist and researcher situated in-between New York City and Shanghai. Initially trained as a sculptor, his current practice spans a wide range of media, including video installation, 3D animation, writing, painting, and drawing. His art explores the experience of “in-betweenness” that arises from a nomadic transnational existence. Interweaving physical and digital realms, Yefeng critically examines fixed identity formations, the history of racialized others, and the alienation of people and objects in dominant cultural and technological narratives.

Yefeng’s work has been featured in exhibitions internationally, including the BRIC Biennial (NY, USA), the OCAT Biennial (SZ, CN), the WRONG Biennale (USA), The Armory Show (NY, US), Times Square (NY, USA), CCS Bard Hessel Museum of Art (NY, USA), Royal College of Art (LDN, UK), Gasworks London (LDN, UK), Jeju Museum of Contemporary Art (Jeju, KR), Pylon Lab (DRS, DE), Tai Kwun Contemporary (HK, CN), Hyundai Motorstudio (BJ, CN), Duolun Museum of Modern Art (SH, CN), etc. He has also been awarded solo exhibitions, residencies, and fellowships at K11 Art Foundation x ArtReview (WH, CN), Smack Mellon (NY, USA), International Studio & Curatorial Program (ISCP) (NY, USA), New York Art Residency & Studios (NARS) Foundation (NY, USA), Pratt Institute (NY, USA), Asia Art Archive in America (NY, USA), MacDowell (NH, USA), Vermont Studio Center (VT, USA), among others.