Multidisciplinary artist Chin Chih Yang was born in Taiwan, and just this year passed the point where he has lived for a longer period of time in New York City than in his homeland. He studied at Parsons School of Design in Manhattan (BFA, 1986) and graduated from Pratt Institute in Brooklyn with a Master of Science in 1994. In a 2009 review Holland Cotter of the New York Times called one of his projects “a magical tunnel of love.” That same year he received a grant from The New York Foundation for the Arts; the following year he was awarded fellowships from the New York State Council on the Arts and The New York Foundation for the Arts.
His most recent work addresses society’s efforts to protect itself, both physically and psychologically, against long-term catastrophe resulting from pollution, surveillance, isolation, quarantine, and religious/political/social intolerance. The modern world, as Yang conceives it, is a graduated mixture of anxiety and entrancement. 21st-century products can do wondrous things, but producers and consumers alike wantonly discard waste. He explores such short-sighted practices by combining found materials, video projections, performance, and his own body to make art that spotlights ways forward. He likes to collaborate with other artists to create work which deals with the issues affecting individuals and, by extension, specific communities as well as society at large. Incorporating a touch of irony, his art helps us become better acquainted with the frightening side of human nature, signaling experimental and creative ways to view the planet and ourselves.
In 2011 He was honored with a NYFA Digital Electronic Arts Fellowship, a solo exhibition at Five Myles Gallery, and a Franklin Furnace Fund award. 2012 My project “Kill Me or Change” was selected from international applications and this vital institutional support, funded in part by Jerome Foundation and The Lambent Fund, enabled presentation of a major work in front of the Unisphere. With the collaboration of Franklin Furnace, the Queens Museum of Art, The New York City Parks Department, Bay Crane Company, and over 100 volunteers, thousands of members of a very diverse general public watched as a construction crane raised, suspended, and then dropped 30,000 used aluminum cans on me. This intentionally playful and provocative project was my attempt to bring to light the effects of over-consumption. 30,000 is the number of aluminum cans one person will throw away in a lifetime. By showing, quite literally, the suffocating effects of one person's personal polluting, this piece serves as a call to action for the public to examine their habits of personal consumption.
His professional art career began snowballing early in 2003, his digital art title "The war against AIDS " was in Art Asia Pacific Magazine, also when he was invited to lecture about my practice at National Taiwan Normal University’s School of Fine Arts and at Ming Chuan University Design School. All these led to a string of events and influential press coverage in my homeland and internationally, and in 2005 his big new media interactive art title "The control of Fear" was selected by ACM 2005 Multi Media international conference, and New York Foundation for the Arts as a sponsoring project and to a 2006 exhibition sponsored by The Taipei Culture Center of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office, and another exhibition presented by the Taiwanese American Council the following year. Additional career include artist’s talks and demonstrations at Harvard University in 2007 and for Princeton University’s graduate fine arts students in 2010.
He strives to reach new audiences and relish opportunities to share my art with people who do not ordinarily encounter art. His work has been presented in forty major group exhibitions between 2005 and today. He has performed and exhibited in universities and museums across Taiwan; and in America at the Weatherhead East Asian Insitute of Columbia University. It is a pleasure to have had work included in the inaugural exhibition at Flux Factory and in prestigious venues from Exit Art to The Nathan Cummings Foundation Gallery. He has shown at art fairs in Miami, at the Asian Film Festival in Warsaw Poland, as well as in Hong Kong, and in Singapore as one of twelve international projects selected by the renowned ACM Multimedia Interactive Art Program.
Back home in NYC, He has reached local audiences with interactive events at important cultural centers in all five boroughs, from The Queens Botanical Garden to the DUMBO Art Under the Bridge Festival, from the Bronx River and Longwood Arts Center to a public pool on Staten Island. On a glorious Saturday in 2009, the audience for his outdoor performance in Union Square Park was estimated at 20,000.
He has been commissioned by the Queens Council on the Arts and the NYC Department of Transportation, and has completed energizing and productive residencies at Byrdcliffe Art Colony and at the University of North Carolina (and was unfortunately forced to defer a residency offered by The Vermont Studio Center). He also completed a 2010 Lower Manhattan Cultural Council Swing Space Residency at Governors Island.
His work has received extensive coverage and critical acclaim in The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, The Village Voice, Time Out New York, Art Asia Pacific Magazine, The Taipei Times other major publications. Profiles have been broadcast on television stations from WCBS, NY to the BBC World News, and online coverage has been presented by Art Beat, Art Radar Asia, Flavorpill, NY1, The Village Voice, and Time Out New York, among many other websites and blogs.