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Take Five: You He

You He, Becoming, Performance at Central Saint Martins Degree Show One: Art, 2018. Photo: Vic Phillips
Written by
Published date
29 May 2018

With Degree Show One: Art now at a close, we take a look back at our students’ final projects and the inspirations behind them. Using photography and performance, MA Photography student You He explores the strange coalition of absence and presence and past and present. Here, he talks us through five sites for production which have influenced his practice.

1. The Photography Studio

MA Photography Studio. Photo: You He

This room is where the seeds are planted and the fruits grow. We have philosophy seminars, art installations and a lot of stimulating; interesting people converge here. It’s the place I would always like to go back to again and again.

2. Urban Archaeology in London

Photo: You He

Loitering around the city, these kind of make-shift objects are always intriguing to me – just the pure form or the power relationships they hold. This one is a make-shift method for skateboarding down the stairs, installed next to a handrail designed to prohibit skateboarding.

3. Miao Jiaxin 725, New York, USA, 2017

Miao Jiaxin, 725, New York, 2017

I happened to encounter the work of Miao Jiaxin and he opened the door to performance art for me. His works use everyday objects but give a very strong, poetic impression. I felt a close relationship between his works and mine – in the use of time and body to question identity in an authoritarian society.

4. Oleg Kulik

Oleg Kulik, The Mad Dog Performance, 1994

I first saw Kulik’s work at the Saatchi Gallery’s exhibition Art Riot. I was immediately shocked by his violence and sharpness. His works transcend the safety of beauty, and deal with subjects such as bestiality. Through his work I saw the convergence point of animals and art, in which I have found inspiration.

5. Zabludowicz Collection

One & Other, Zabludowicz Collection, Installation View, 2017. Photo: Tim Bowditch

The Zabludowicz Collection is north of Camden town, which is not so far from Central Saint Martins. I really like this gallery because of the building, which does not have the seriousness of somewhere like White Cube. It has a meditative function for me, and their selection of works is very dynamic. Riding my bike there in between work is a way for me to relax.