Yeni Mao’s work engages issues of fragmentation, exploring the subjective body and architecture through restraint, domination and absence. His practice is an ongoing dialogue with the vernacular of building systems as a medium for equations between the body and the built environment; the work challenges the perception of material, form, and image in a shifting cultural context.
Heavily influenced by the theory and practice behind the architectural modernist movement, Mao works with the significance of material production history, how the alteration of those materials becomes language or narrative. The works pushes against the dogma of architectural modernism, pitting the physical and psychological properties of restraint and order against the chaos of the visceral human condition. Mao works with architectonic suggestiveness, constructing a cyborg body through an organizing framework, a form defined by its circumstances. Various components and visual languages- expressions of craft, material building systems and modes of display- provide a sounding board of information.
Mao consistently references his surroundings, drawing from the colonial amalgamation of materials and their relationship with contemporary object production. Through fragmentation and de-contextualization, exploding the construction into components, Mao links our own personal cultural fusion and displacement with the way we construct our environment.
Yeni Mao is a queer visual artist of Chinese descent. His practice centers on sculpture and installation, interpreting our occupation of material environments. He was born in Guelph, Canada, and spent his developmental years in the United States, Sweden and Taiwan. He received a BFA from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and subsequently trained in foundry work in California, and the architectural and construction industries of New York. Yeni Mao’s work has been featured in numerous international exhibitions and he has executed several projects through international residencies. He lives and works in New York and Mexico City.
Most recently, Mao presented “vol. 2: cabal”, an installation of ceramic-based sculptures at PAOS in Guadalajara, Mexico and participated in the group shows “The Waste Land” and Nicelle Beauchene Gallery in New York, “Luego La Forma” at Galeria de Art Mexicano, and “Escultura de la Tierra” at Complejo Cultural Los Pinos in Mexico City. Last December he created a site specific installation with AGUAS in the special projects section of Untitled Art Fair in Miami. He has presented his work in a large variety of exhibitions and projects, including the IX Bienal De Artes Visuales Nicaraguenses, Zidoun-Bossuyt Gallery, Arróniz Arte Contemporáneo, Anonymous Gallery, Present Company, Allegra LaViola Gallery, Invisible-Exports, and Andrew Edlin Gallery. Mao has been awarded multiple residencies including Casa Wabi in Mexico, The Lijiang Studio and Red Gate Gallery in China, The Fountainhead Residency in Miami, OAZO-AIR in Amsterdam, and Flash Atöyle in Turkey. Mao’s work has been written about in The New York Times, Time Out New York, The Advocate, The Village Voice, and the Bangkok Post. Upcoming in May 2020, Mao will have a solo exhibition at Fierman Gallery in New York and a two-person show with Brooke Benington in London.