Portrait of Space

Bodu Yang

09.01.2024 | 20.01.2024
Pièce Unique

MASSIMODECARLO Pièce Unique is very pleased to inaugurate the new year with Bodu Yang’s first presentation at the gallery, entitled Portrait of Space.

Yang's work was described as departing from the "art scene" mentality that renders contemporary art both exciting and problematic, and transports viewers to isolated environments where viewing an artwork is a private activity in an entirely public space.

Her work focuses on the space of the museum or the art gallery, embracing this abstracted, emptied, idealized space as both a stage for human action and a celebration of its absence. In the past years, Bodu Yang has looked at these evenly lit, dramatically constructed architectural moments as ways of seeing as well as the bases for her paintings. Her practice takes place in the uncanny space between private and public, between making and viewing, and between seeing and being seen.

Describing MASSIMODECARLO Pièce Unique’s gallery space, which she has never seen in real life, the artist explains her selection of works for her first exhibition within it:

“I’ve never been there; yet the space resides vividly in my mind. A slice of the street, half a box, a corner, textures of the indoor and outdoor floors separated by a layer of glass, the audience flowing past the clear window. The space lingers within my thoughts. When baren of art, it echoes an elegant reclining figure on a bed. Every time a new exhibition arrives, the space dresses up, proudly presenting itself to the viewer.

Subtle details lie within each painting; I pull them out like plucking a small mound of yarn balls from a sweater. When the wallpaper, paintings, and the vase rhythm with each other, it's as if a face is sketched with eyebrows, eyes, and a nose—turning the straw hat into a mouth.

Once in a while, faint melodies travel from distant rooms, barely perceived, more like sounds emitted by the space itself—a symphonic blending of the floor, curtain, and wall. When observed more closely, doors emerge, tranforming the rooms into traps: be careful of entering this realm of the unknown...”


The Artist

Bodu Yang

Yang Bodu (b.1986, Tianjin, China) currently lives and works in Beijing, China. She received her BFA in 2008 from Tianjin Academy of Art, followed by her MFA from Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts in 2012.

In 2011, Yang was the recipient of the Justine Cretella Memorial Scholarship. In 2012, she won the Fellowship Trust Prize for her outstanding presentation in PAFA's Annual Student Exhibition. In 2021, she was named one of The Artsy Vanguard 2021. Yang Bodu's solo exhibitions include: Tang Contemporary Art, Bangkok; Mine Project, Hong Kong; the PAFA Alumni Gallery, Philadelphia; Wan Wan Lei Projects, Beijing. She has also participated in many group exhibitions such as the PAFA Museum, Philadelphia; M WOODS, Beijing; X Museum, Beijing; Hive Centre for Contemporary Art, Beijing; Tianjin Academy of Fine Arts Gallery, Tianjin; SPURS Gallery, Beijing. Her work has been collected by institutions such as the PAFA Museum, M WOODS, X Museum, Long Museum, and Pingshan Art Museum, among the others.