Artist Statement: Amanda Yang '20
For this exhibition, I decided to explore the themes of sexuality and femininity. The motif of feminine sexuality runs through all of the pieces in this exhibition, even while the work might not seem to have an obvious connection with the themes at first glance. The artworks are divided into four sections with two pieces of works in every section, each delving into a slightly different topic within my theme.
The first section of paintings details my appreciation for the different expression of feminine sexuality. The second section of pottery delves into the complex emotion behind the process of exploring one’s sexuality. The third section of paintings showcase my appreciation for aesthetics and function of the sexual organs, and the last one documents my own journey in figuring out how to express my feminine sexuality.
My vision for this body of work is to inspire my viewers to reconsider their biases and preconceived notions about human sexuality, appreciate its beauty, and embrace their own sexuality, orientation, and exploration. I want my viewers to develop a relationship with my art, however that might look for each individual person. Because of this, I designed the viewing experience for the audiences to be open but intimate and I want my viewers to set their own pace viewing the exhibit. Because of this, I arranged my exhibition to be like a journey from start to finish with the four different sections.
The arrangement ensures that the works slowly transitions to be more and more personal as the viewer walks along the show. Eventually, the viewers will end up at the most personal fourth section of the show where I dissect how my cultural background and life experiences have shaped my own unique sexuality and expression of it. At the end of the journey, I hope to inspire the audience to reflect on their own experiences regarding sexuality by introducing my personal story.
In this exhibition, the paintings are done in mostly acrylics and gouache to achieve a certain vibrant or muted color. The vibrant ones reflect with the admirative aura of parts of the first and last section such as in the print “March On” where I detail my admiration for women who boldly own and flaunt their sexuality and I chose the example of dominatrixes.
On the other hand, the muted tones reflect the pensive and muddy nature of the reflective works section one, three, and four. A notable example is the acrylic painting puzzle “The Bird and the Bee” where I contemplate the disparities in sex education across the world and its detrimental effects such as the lack of awareness of the concept of consent and high teen pregnancy rates. The two ceramic pieces placed on pedestals are wood-fired handbuilt pots that look almost rusty and primitive, which is done purposefully to mirror the rawness of the emotions that can occur while playing around with one’s sexuality as exemplified in the piece “it has to come out somehow” where
I express the importance of being open to discussing issues regarding one’s own sexuality instead of bottling them up due to shame or negative social responses. The paintings are hung on the wall at equal heights while ceramic pieces are placed on pedestals of various heights to break out of the seemingly organized pattern and add a sense of playfulness to the presentation of the works which is what I want my viewers to take away from my show – feminine sexuality is an intimate, colorful and playful journey. To enhance this purpose, I also chose to exhibit my works along both sides of a corner, extending out like the welcoming arms of hugs. This is designed to make the viewers feel like they are truly immersed and a part of the show.