Yanyi “Sunny” Jiang – U.S/China – Painting/Performance
She is a painter and performance artist who lives in NY, U.S.
I call myself an erroneous narrator. I invent and illustrate stories of identity confusions, plurality, time travel, control and manipulation and hidden symbols, all under the disguise of cruel eroticism.
My practice focuses on performance art and painting. I practice the ancient technique of oil and tempera painting, developed in the 15th century and nowadays almost falls into oblivion. The characters I portray are all suffering from Dissociative Identity Disorder. They and their mental twins not only exist in different spaces, but also travel into different directions of time. Their journeys are marked with erotic play of limbs, and mutual manipulation within a system of red strings. Centering on multiplicity, my paintings comprises of myriad pictorial and philosophical layers that are simultaneously clarifying and confusing. With the meticulous technique of trompe l’oeil (French for “fool the eye”), I seek to deceive the audience, while intentionally revealing the fallacies to (mis)guide them into a universe of temporal and spatial discrepancies.
My performance art mirrors the fundamental elements in my paintings: erotica, red strings, bodily pain, manipulation and deception. Nevertheless, while a tableau is a distant scene contained in a picture frame, a performance is more intimate and more palpable. These actions of ephemeral existence complement my frozen images by audaciously illustrating taboo topics in real life.
My art would not be complete without the sinister fondness of symbolism. My works are full of words, images, and actions that carry veiled meanings. Through rich historical references, ornate details, and witty play of words, I discreetly lure my audience into a game of decryption.
Wedding of All Times
Performance on August 21, 2015
Yanyi “Sunny” Jiang
As one of the oldest and most universal rituals of mankind, a wedding celebrates the union of two people. In the Wedding of All Times, however, we celebrate the marriage of two times, Past and Future.
Carrying two distinctive halves, the artist herself represents both the Past and the Future. The wedding follows the modern-day ceremony, including acts of Poem Reading, Ring Exchange, and Unity Candle Lighting. In the end, the Officiant (Mayor of Gorna Lipnitsa) pronounces Past and Future married and thus completes the union of the two times.
Nonetheless, this performance is intended to be of a paradoxical nature. Despite the theme of unity, the motif of division is omnipresent, as the dress, veil, shoes, bouquet, music, and even cocktails of the wedding all mark a clear separation of the two times. This sharp contrast raises the ultimate question: by uniting the past and the future, do we achieve the present? Does the fusion of memories and predictions create the “now”?
Critical audience members may also have noticed the absence of continuous flow of time in this piece. There is neither romantic encounter before the wedding, nor honeymoon after. Everything happens at the moment and freezes at the present, awkwardly inserting a “now” into the gap of past and future. The Wedding of All Times is eventually a satire, mocking our doctrinaire perception of time as being linear and unidirectional.
Organizing and Conducting of Ritual Art – Time and Space edition of the Old School residency is financed under BG 08 Cultural Heritage and Contemporary Arts Programme of the EEA Financial Mechanism.