As part of our One Year On series we caught up with Yangyi (Neptune) Ouyang, a year after he graduated from BA Fine Art at Chelsea to find out how his year has been since his degree show. Our undergraduate summer show is this Friday so we hope you can join us either in person or via our coverage across social media.
What have you been up to since you graduated?
I was travelling a lot around Europe before coming back to China. One of the highlights was a research trip to CERN and Nansen Initiative in Geneva. This trip was followed by an exhibition in the Triangle Space at Chelsea College of Arts entitled ‘Shifting Territories’ in April 2016. After coming back to China, I have been working for Vitamin Creative Space/Mirrored Gardens until now. Parallel to this, I’m having my studio renovated which will be in use from this September.
Tell us about your practice, how has it developed since graduating?
I guess I’m taking a break from what I was doing back then, which were mostly some elaborate works with complex ideas. It’s a great moment for me to reflect upon them and perhaps to find a more sustainable source of energy for my practice. I realised it’s more important to have a practice rather than just working on ‘projects’.
What are you currently working on?
I’m working on the design and renovation of my studio in Guangzhou and doing the planning for making a new film devoted to the city where I grew up. It will unfold around a series of keywords: ‘heat’,’humidity’ and ‘wetness’, all characteristic of the subtropical climate of Guangzhou. Apart from my own line of work, I’ve been taking part in a collective, agriculturally oriented gardening project at Mirrored Gardens, where a pond of goldfishes and aquatic plants, a diverse range of herbs and vegetables grow within a layered ecosystem. The farm work itself has become an everyday practice that concerns not only the growth of plants but also the spatiality and ecology of the garden plus its relationship with the participators and visitors.
What are your future plans?
The working area of my studio, which is about 1500 square feet in size plus 3 upper levels of living space, is also hopefully going to be used as a fluid project space or an artist residency. I believe it will be super fun, and in the next few years, my life and work will likely be centred around it. Apart from this, I will be giving a presentation at a conference organised by Sishang Art Museum and i:Project Space in July talking in relation to my works about the idea of ‘post-installation’ which first came up in my second year at Chelsea.
What do you miss most about Chelsea?
I miss my tutors a lot, especially Martin, David and Liz, as well as the ceramics technician Tim, who was a great help and support to me while I spent most of my third year in the ceramics workshop.
What advice would you give to our students who are about to graduate?
Art school is not the end of it all. Graduation is when the real fun begins!
See more work on Yangyi’s website.
Find out more about BA Fine Art.