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June 2023
Haegue Yang, Subject of Solo Exhibition Haegue Yang: Changing From From To From at National Gallery of Australia, Canberra
Contemporary artist Haegue Yang is the subject of the solo exhibition Haegue Yang: Changing From From To From at National Gallery of Australia, Canberra, on view from May 27 through September 24, 2023. Named after a poem by the Chinese conceptual artist Li Yuan-chia (1929–1994), the exhibition presents four works that reflect Yang’s ongoing interest in movement, migration, and transformation as she continues to forge connections between disparate locations, periods, and cultures.

At the heart of the exhibition stands Sonic Intermediates – Three Differential Equations (2020), a three-part sculptural ensemble. Each piece pays homage to a pioneering modernist artist—Barbara Hepworth (1903–1975), Naum Gabo (1890–1977), and Li Yuan-chia (1929–1994)—representing a speculative encounter between these figures. Throughout the exhibition, the sculptural trio will be activated by their handles, releasing a rattling sound of bells reminiscent of traditional rituals and ceremonies.
Adorning the surrounding walls is Non-Linear and Non-Periodic Dynamics (2020), a wallpaper collage that features motifs of crashing water and spiraling motion, visualizing the futility of human attempts to control increasingly unpredictable environmental conditions. Yang incorporates references to local Kamberri/Canberra waterways and ancient sites into her design, which serves as reminders of careful land management practices that existed prior to the destructive impact of colonization, extractive industries, and urban development. Prior to the opening of the exhibition, the National Gallery of Australia decided to acquire Sonic Intermediates – Three Differential Equations and Non-Linear and Non-Periodic Dynamics for its permanent collection.

The exhibition also introduces Triple Chalkies (2015), a sculpture donated to the museum by a local collector in 2020. Suspended from the ceiling, the sculpture is characterized by ornamental and geometric patterns, which are conventionally underestimated and rejected in modernism. Emanating from floating clusters of speakers is Genuine Cloning (2020), a sound work that combines a text recited by a cloned version of the artist’s voice with a recording of a real-life event.

To commemorate the opening of the exhibition, a conversation between the artist and curator Russell Storer took place on May 27. Throughout the duration of the exhibition, a series of events, including talks by art historians and screenings of films selected by the artist, will provide visitors with a more comprehensive understanding of the exhibition.

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