Exhibition preview: Kai-Oi Jay Yung: Amongst Dark Trees, A Clearing, Grundy Art Gallery, Blackpool, until March 9 2013
Meditation, psychotherapy hypnosis under disco lights, floppy, handless gloves which unlock memory and a device which connects participants’ bodies to a rotating disc measuring their fear of death – Kai-Oi Jay Yung’s voyage between fear and hope at the Grundy is nothing if not ambitious.
© Kai-Oi Jay Yung
It begins, in response to a public call-out made by the artist, with a set of intricate, hand-sewn mottos sent in by people. One of them, called Worse Things Happen at Sea, recalls boats from the West Indies bringing bananas to Preston and a beautiful grey horse drowned by the tide, all stitched together by a 68-year-old from nearby Lytham St Annes.
Sonic intervention soundtracks the main space. 7 Circles, based on public recordings, links monosyllabic sounds with seven bodily chakras, clearing hearts and minds and inviting visitors to add their own harmonies, interplaying towards a live harmonic mantra. Passings, adjacently, is the resultant triggering of neon-coloured light rays and patterns.
“It investigates how our suffering and conflict exacerbates and manifests in our daily living,” says Yung, who describes her interest in “conflict sites” and “ruptures in our psychogenic make-up.”
“In editing and making, I can dissect and reassemble meaning, introduce new characters and empower others with narratives to manipulate their own endings, realities and truths.
“In this way, I can offer alternative belief systems to exorcise our fears, desires and life's complexities.
“During the show, I have devised a series of workshops and public events too, which means I can spend more time with the audience who experience the work.”
A drawing series, Auto-Psychometric Suffering Devices (A-PS Devices), elicits the imagining of contraptions for self-hypnosis and the cessation of mental and physical stress. Etchings of early memories are encouraged.
The targets are blockages within our psychological and physiological identities, but it’s not all heavy. You Don’t Actually Die, featuring stand-up comedian David T Hyde, is a mix of sharp observations, inner antagonisms, humour and self-identity.
“My four films include voices from a compulsive hoarder, psychologists and a live breathing session with a healer and savant,” explains Yung. “There is much uncanny play and dark humour in the work.”
- Open 10am-5pm (closed Sunday). Admission free. Visit jayyung.wordpress.com for more on the artist.