Photo Credit: NIU Chun-Chiang

YE Yu Jun

YE Yu Jun's Art Work Exhibition
YE Yu Jun's Exhibition
YE Yu Jun's Art Work
YE Yu Jun's Art Work Detail
YE Yu Jun's Art Work Exhibition Photo

YE Yu Jun

Location USA / Los Angeles
Residency 18th Street Arts Center
Year of the Grant 2014
Work El Sueño de Los Angeles
Personal Website YE Yu Jun's Personal Website
Ye Yu Jun had studied in France since 2001, and obtained a Master’s degree of Diplôme National Suprieurexpression Plastique from Ecole Nationale Supérieur d'Arts de Paris-Cergy and a Master’s degree of Art et Media Numérique from Paris1–Sorbonne. She had joined the international art group Réseau Artskool, residing at Main d’oeuvre Art Center in France (2007) and resided at the Treasure Hill Artist Village (2010). 18th street art centre in L.A(2014). She is director of art space called “instant 42” in Luzhou, New Taipei City , inTaiwan.considering constructing and managing a space as a form in creation. This space is a complex art space with 3 major functions, art exhibition, studio, and artist-in--residence.

Thoughts on Residency Program:

Established in 1988, the 18th Street Arts Center is a major art village and space in Los Angeles, and the longest operating NPO in southern California. The founder of the art village is also the editor-in-chief of High Performance, a renowned performance art magazine.

As a performance artist, it is such serendipity to come to a local art village that has important connections to the development of performance art in the U.S. After I moved in, issues of racism or the American Dream arose around me constantly in Santa Monica, Los Angeles, or the entire U.S. As a foreigner/artist, how could I adapt to and survive in this home of capitalism? Just like immigrants coming to America from all around the world, this is a modern edition of the pursuit of the American Dream.

Works created overseas are often concerned with cultural identity and cultural gaps under the impacts of culture and language. With this artist-in-residence opportunity, I reset myself to zero, and felt the world around me through perceptions; I also attempted new creative forms, such as sculpture and photography. This is training in a big city: how does an artist carry out self-reflection and expand social network in the art circles within a short period of time, develop artworks that correspond to the environment, and explore different creative aspects.

In 2014, the Los Angeles of the 21st Century showed me a different U.S. than I had expected. Most people here enjoyed higher living standards, and valued spiritual growth and liberty. Nonetheless, I could still sense the different places, vocabularies, demographics, and beliefs in the post-hippie atmosphere.

The exhibition was titled El Sueño de Los Angeles. It was the modern LA version of the American Dream. Was it the memory of this land? Or the roaming ghosts in the art village? I tried to connect my own dreams to the dreams of those pursuers. I had lived overseas for eight years before, and once again I remembered the hardship and sense of loss as a dream pursuer/new immigrant. As a new dream pursuer, I came to LA to explore a new art base, I embraced the fully developed art capitalism with excitement, and I also got lost in the large city. Exhibition venue became the space where artists and dream pursuers in LA conversed. The role “LA ghost” in the work wanders in various scenes in the city like a lost soul or a piece of forgotten memory, telling stories of the people in the city.

During my residency, I received assistance and care from the staff at the village and other artists in residence, such as movie director Michael Barnard, former artistic director of the village Clayton Campbell, artist Yvette Gellis, performance artist Dan Kwong and Bernadette Fox. I also cooperated with local/international artists, such as Alexis Mailles (France), Dan Kwong, Monel Chang, Kyle Kaplan, Frida Li, Oshus, Mystic Pete, Richard Andres, and Cheyenne Dunbar.

Before I left the artist village, the artistic director of the 18th Street Arts Center mentioned that in the future, the center will provide different exhibition and performance spaces for performance art and performing art, and offer more community and village resources. In the last few weeks, I also met with some active curators in LA, and explored our chances to work together.

The 3-month residency was quite short to fully explore a large city like LA. I suggest that artists first contact the agencies, organizations, and curators they want to meet with in advance. The artist village provides great living/creative environment, allowing artists to focus on their works, and the Californian sun makes you feel energized everyday. This artist village has a long history and memories with the land and people; this is also a place where outstanding artists meet and discuss ideas together, which inspired my creative energy. Once again, I’d like to thank the Ministry of Culture for this opportunity, and I hope that one day I can visit the U.S. again.