Can Yang (b.1994) is a multidisciplinary artist and designer working with a variety of media to create context-aware graphics and installations. Previous education includes BA Graphic Design from Rhode Island School of Design (2018).
Previous exhibitions and activities:
2020 ‘Loops’ Fugitive Voices Group Exhibition (VI designer & exhibitor), London
2019 Nike On Air Studio x Hypebeast (lecturer), Shanghai
2019 Shenzhen University Visual Communication Grad Show (guest critic & guest lecturer), Shenzhen
2019 Be There Design Festival (exhibitor), Hong Kong
2019 China Design Exhibition (exhibitor), China
2019 Singularity Art Festival (exhibitor), Chengdu, Shenzhen
2018, 2019 UNFOLD Book Fair (exhibitor and guest lecturer), Shanghai
2018 ‘Energizing The Future’ Expo 2017 Astana Exhibition (exhibitor), Shanghai
2018 Rhode Island School of Design Graduation Exhibition (exhibitor), Providence
2018 ‘XXXI’ Poster Project at Twentynine Gallery (exhibitor), New York
2018 Art Book in China (abC Art Book Fair) (exhibitor & guest lecturer), Shanghai
2018 Publication ‘Nice to Meet You’ with DrawDown Books, USA
2017 Odds & Ends Book Fair (exhibitor), Yale
Rhode Island School of Design, Honours Degree
It’s Nice That-The Graduates Award 2018
A-Level Art and Design Top in the World 2014
My current research is based on new media theory and postmodern philosophy, in speculating new ways of art practice. My research direction mostly leaded by Vilem Flusser’s cybernetic arguments in considering the ever-increasing role of technical image in producing cultural history and memory, in addition to Jean Baudrillard’s media theory about simulation and representation.
As a visual communicator and concept modeller, I’m interested in generating dialogue in transforming information between virtual and physical materials, digital and analogue devices, to open up the functionality of two-dimensional flat images in perceiving higher and multi-dimensional experience of time and space. My works reassess the medium specificity and interrogates transformations across media, from traditional painting and drawing, to reproducible etching and printing, indexical photography and cinematic images to digital manipulations.
Neobridge Model Research Archive
Neobridge is a speculative hypothesis of structuring new forms of practice through integrating layers and hybridising discursive polysemiotic dimensions. In building this model of art practice, which serves as a linkage from artist to artwork and artwork to audience, my research is centred in promoting two values: multi-dimensionality and complexity.
1. A Multi-dimensional Observation: A Neobridging approach to criticism involves discovering, recognising and understanding the higher dimensions—the unseen, underlying, unspoken and implicit assumptions, ideas and frameworks of cultural forms.
2. A Complex Process: In comparison to the linear way of transferring message from artist through art work to the audience, the Neobridge model aims to deconstruct the determinacy and primacy of the work of art, that a linear thinking process of visual representation could be alternatively substituted with net-like discursive “bridges”.
Standing at the point which supports a preference for fragmentation over unity, dispersion over linear order, this model raises the question—in the contemporary art practice, how to transmit cognitive and sensory information across media and to dissolve the boundaries between genre, media and context?
Within my experimental projects, the starting points are always from a fascination of multisensoriality, affective politics of perception and material reconsiderations of place, relation, temporality and memory. I like to pursue intra-actions between movement and thought, creative practice and new materialist theory-making, ethics and politics. The multimodal material input provides a point of departure from which personal and collective memories and histories are highlighted. It concerns matters such as the memory of a material, the journey of a material between different time or space, and the adaptation of a material performed within different context and read by different audience that could produce further meanings.
Installation View #1
Installation View #2
Installation View #3
In the form of installation, the content of this project is embedded in the materiality of the two devices—a laptop for digital manipulation and a smartphone for unedited raw recordings. By presenting the two videos on different electronic equipments, this work generates a dialogue on the specificity of digital media, either it is the optical extension of human eyes (digital recording of the subject) or the illusionary simulation of the optical observation (digital manipulation of the subject).
The two videos are ought to be played simultaneously (Component A on laptop and Component B on smartphone) and to be assembled and viewed on varying site according to each individual audience’s preference. The audience-engaged process brings back the physical encounter of audience and artwork and reflects on the capability of digital media in the physical interactive presentation.
Component A - The Digitalised Flux, recommended viewing device: 13" laptop, digital moving image/multimedia, 2'30"
Component B -The Raw Pool, recommended viewing device: 5.5"-6.7" smartphone, movie/multimedia, 2'30"
The Etching Process
Etching Prints #1-2
Etching Print #3
Drawings In Other Dimension
Screen Print #1-2
Painting #1 & Art Objects
Exotica-an archive of continuous making on heterogenous sources of inspiration.
It became prominent that the tools used for artists’ self-scrutiny and self-definition would not only be limited by the ones traditionally used by art history but also the mechanisms of medium, as well as the embedded disciplines. These experiments are aiming to discover the new hybrid of media and also inquire for a chance to scrutinise ingrained responses, role clichés and methods of resolution. Could the process of addressing the most appropriate medium and technique for addressing the explored context be the way to echo a personal voice that reflects on universal value? Could the materiality of one medium and the identity of the artist be merged and could the medium itself undertake a critical position in the public art scene?