Artist, 33, Chinatown
Amy Yao has had a busy year. Following her solo show at Jack Hanley Gallery this winter, she was included in PS1’s Greater New York exhibition, now on view through October 18th. She also maintains a four-page animated gif-happy website complete with bouncing happy faces, dancing bananas and a smiling bone. None of the meaning is particularly clear, but that’s ok. Yao’s page includes text that claims “It’s not about ideas.” Given the amount of cut up newspaper stories that end up in her work, we’re sure that’s not entirely true. It’s mostly about re-contextualizing and manipulating found material.
The L: How long have you lived in New York?
Amy: About 3 years.
The L: What is the relationship between your animated gif-friendly, scroll bar workout website and the doors and clown weapons?
Amy: I think of the animated gif and jpg websites as being like my collage work on paper. All are taken from random images that I find online, junk mail (both virtual and in my post box), and from other media and are rearranged in a way that is funny and or meaningful to me. Collage is a fast and easy way for me to relate to what I see in media and is a thinking tool for my other projects. It also keeps me on my toes and alert to what is being produced and put out into the world.
The L: Is there a specific narrative or interpretation you wish viewers to come away with?
Amy: Not really a narrative or interpretation but perhaps a sense of the attitude of the work. Artwork is always specific in its materials, images and attitude whether one chooses it or not. The work at PS1 is especially colorful and I was referencing certain subcultures and film when making it though not wanting to do so using representational means. There was no "message" per se, but a beginning and starting point.
The L: If you could collaborate with any other New York City artist (living or dead), who would it be, why and what would you create together?
Amy: Oh, too many! David Benjamin Sherry and I have always talked about doing something together. I love Anne Truitt's work, Le Monte Young, Allen Ruppersberg, Djuna Barnes, Charlemagne Palestine, Elsa Von Freytag-Loringhoven. I think Niki de Saint Phalle lived in NY for a while. Collaborations… I'd have to have a chat before knowing what we'd make together!