Tina Keng Gallery is pleased to present The Quest for Mandala Episode I: Wanderers of the Abyssal Darkness, a solo exhibition by Yang Mao-Lin. The Sanskrit word “mandala” means the ability to gain “essence.” Engaged in art practice for almost 40 years, Yang turns his gaze from the exterior world to his own inner being. Through reflection and dissection, he embarks on a journey to find his true nature.
Comprising four series of Yang’s sculptural works, the exhibition opens with The Quest for Mandala – Departure, where Dorothy, a recurring motif of Yang’s, stands poised on her horse, ushering viewers to series Wanderers of the Abyssal Darkness and The Lingering Spring. The works on display present sea creatures in their utmost striking qualities. Characteristics of different fishes are mixed and metamorphosed into eccentric sculptures on which Yang projects his multiple personalities and waves of emotions. Crafted in colored and oxidized bronze, each sculpture materializes in a rusted appearance that exudes a deep-sea feel, forming a strong contrast with the lustrous glass and light installed inside. Light flows through the translucent glass and crevices of each bronze sculpture, rendering the three-dimensional object animated and vivacious.
“My personality can be described as: 50% of the deep-sea fish, eccentric and weird; 20% of the gold fish, living in a glass bowl, ignorant and slow; 30% of the tropical fish, flamboyant, longing for connection,” the artist once said of himself. Yang has morphed from a critic of culture and history in the early days, to a seeker of his own spirituality. Has he found a small haven for himself among sea creatures, comic characters, and gods? This exhibition provides an intimate look on Yang’s art practice and self-scrutiny.
Yang Mao-Lin (b. 1953) lives and works in Taipei, Taiwan. He works across mediums of painting, installation, and sculpture. He has held 27 solo exhibitions since he debuted in 1985 at the Taichung City Cultural Center, Taiwan. Recent solo exhibitions include Kill Alice – Final Battle: Yang Mao-Lin's Solo Exhibition (Tina Keng Gallery, Taipei, Taiwan, 2011), Temple of Sublime Beauty – Hallelujah (Museum of Contemporary Art Taipei, Taipei, Taiwan, 2009), Temple of Sublime Beauty – Made in Taiwan, (53rd Venice Biennial, Collateral Event, Sala S. Tommaso, S. Giovanni e Paolo, Venice, Italy, 2009), and Canonization of the Gods – The Pure Land of Maha (Lin & Keng Gallery, Taipei, Taiwan, 2006). Group exhibitions include Jie: Contemporary Art from Taiwan (Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art, Cornell University, Ithaca, USA, 2014), The Other．The Distance – Cross-Strait Contemporary Art Exchange (Hubei Museum of Art, Hubei, China, 2014), Horizon Realm (Tenri Cultural Institute, New York, USA, 2013), and Rolling! Visual Art in Taiwan (Seoul Museum of Art, Seoul, Korea, 2013).