Rene Yung

Affiliate, 2017 - 2022
Affiliate, 1988 - 1991

Artist Statement

At heart my work is about belonging: to self, place, community, culture, time. My immigrant roots shape my being and way of seeing, and my art-making is a constant navigation of the complexities of the hybrid space, and a many-stranded voicing from its interstices.

My work melds my long steeping in installation, public and socially-engaged art, into a transdisciplinary practice that fluidly crosses boundaries in multiplatform articulations. An ongoing body of work excavates the overlooked history and experiences of the Chinese in the American West, through research, public engagement, and cultural productions, and the creation of the nonprofit organization Chinese Whispers. I am also developing a framework for deep-mapping the meaning of place through integrated investigations that reconnect land and water to their people, memories, and natural and built environments, threading the historical with the contemporary, the socio-political with the poetic, and lived experiences with ideas, toward social change in this time of heightened unbelongings.

While at Headlands

While at Headlands, I will continue to develop a drawing series that engages gesture and mark-making as wayfinding. Beginning as a means to locate self in space/place/time, the drawings came to explore the meaning of erasure as a parallel to my research-based work on the intersecting displacements of people, marine life, and habitat around San Francisco Bay. I am continuing to develop a transdisciplinary work, Written on Water, that examines this erasure in relation to the historical Chinese shrimp fishery on the Bay, and dispossession in the contemporary migrant experience. Most immediately, I have been focusing on essays and literary non-fiction on the subject.