Yao Cong

video, theater, installation and photography

24.10.2017   - 29.10.2017

Sensitive emotions have always been Yao Cong’s inspiration. He intends to explore the existing modes of gender, sexuality and identity politics. Through reconfiguring the language of desire, anxiety, and authority into a new fluid, hybrid structure, he creates immersive works which employ hazy, poetic and sharp aesthetics by diverse media such as moving image, physical theater, installation and photography in constant attempts and explorations.

The artist received his BA in Intermedia Art from China Academy of Art in 2014, and his MA in Fine Art from Royal College of Art, London, in 2017.

His video installation “Under Blue” (Single Video, Colour/Sound, 6’38”, 2015) is presented as part of The Beholder group show taking place between October 24-29 2017 at SomoS Art House.

“Under Blue” explores gender politics through beauty, pleasure, disgust, danger, violence, the erotic and the artificial, the dance of the brush and the movement of the camera, imparting an uneasy feeling of voyeuristic power to the beholder. In the work, the fragmented body, body movement, color, and textures appear between real and surreal, our attention to those colors and textures is greatly rewarded, even as we understand the context even less. The view through the lens, the view through the artist, the view through the viewers, the view through the screen, and the view through the beholder. The meaning and the images are changed and redefined by the gaze and imagination.

The work explores the topic of gaze, erotic, beauty, gender, the role of power relationships, violence and authority. Also how we think about liberation and porn today. Is this way of showing the body still considered to be a kind of porn style? How to define the meaning of porn? The relationship among daily behavior, gaze and the erotic. I used the fragmented body, make-up to blur the relationships between beauty and gender, pleasure and danger, power and desire, at the same time to emphasis the ambiguity and anxiety among the relationships.

From my background, I bring the view of my experience of gender and erotic issues in China. The shy, hidden and invisible, how people deal with the erotic desire and how to play the game of authority and social power. I put the aesthetics of experience in the video work to give a fresh view also similar human feeling of the “the beholder” in the different context.

Yao Cong, on “Under Blue”


Yao Cong homepage Vimeo

Under Blue
Single Video, Color/Sound
Ratio: 16:9
Duration: 6’38”
Edition of 20/40 + 2 AP