Kendra Yee and Ruohan Wang @ Juxtapoz Projects: Hot Town, Summer in the City
New York scintillates in the summer, filled with olfactory sensations, both delicious and disgusting. Hallucinogenically hot, the entire neighborhood blasts decibels with the sounds of party jams and front-stoop cookouts. It's intoxicating. This summer, Juxtapoz Projects invited two artists to participate in our June 2019 residency program hosted at Superchief in NYC. Kendra Yee and Ruohan Wang worked alongside each other for an entire month in their shared studio and painted a collaborative mural, generously sponsored by our friends at Liquitex. Let's meet them.
Kendra Yee (Toronto, ON)
A studio is a place to play with magic, especially in NYC, where you feel like everything is a fairytale. From the shoulder bumps of strangers, the stench of melting garbage, or the crackle of the subway as it crosses the bridge, the city really seeps into your bones. Throughout the Juxtapoz Projects residency, I have been focusing on the intricacies of vessels and how they serve as containers to store memories. I start off by creating black ink drawings and then fireworks at a community ceramics studio in Brooklyn. The drawings act as documents for the ceramics, and the pottery becomes artifacts of past memories. Between Ruohan and me, the studio was littered with materials of all sorts. We furiously tried to capture the surrounding magic, but time moves too fast. The works created a commemoration of the secrets discovered during our journey in New York.
Ruohan Wang (Berlin, Germany)
For me, New York is a city that belongs to nobody, yet everybody is trying to own it, while trying to master their lives and careers. It's fascinating. I absolutely needed a break from Berlin to review and re-order the important things in my life. Since 2016, I've worked as a freelance artist, and for the first time in a while, the residence opportunity gave me not only a cool place to work, but also 100% freedom and flexibility to plan my own projects. In addition to time in the studio, I went out to different galleries, bookstores and events in New York, which also inspired me. New environments and routines allow me to redefine what “freedom” means in my practice, and the Juxtapoz Projects residency gave me the tools to do so.