In his first solo project in New York, Chinese born, Queens based Xiang Yang installs 4 monumental (and meticulous) sculptures at Repetti.
To explain the traditional Chinese proverb that’s borrowed here for a title, the artist relays a story from the philosopher Zhuang Zi. After dreaming of becoming a butterfly, he wondered if he was now a butterfly dreaming of being a man. In the elusive world of dreams, he was the butterfly, while in our tangible realm he’s still a man. Employing a marvelously inventive visual language, Xiang’s new work hovers between Eastern and Western traditions, offering insight into a state of flux. In Buddha Says, the artist seamlessly unifies a host of materials while contrasting the positive and negative forms that comprise the numerous, yet iconic, images of the meditating prophet.
Xiang describes his work as, “stemming from the Buddhist concept of ‘Samsara,’ the cycle of death and rebirth to which life in the material world is bound.” This ancient term is derived from the idea of passing through different states of being, and sheds light on Xiang’s signature use of colorful thread to sew together, and push apart, disparate images. Expertly crafted, and showcasing a fantastic meditative patience, these sculptures give form to the fusion of Buddhist thought and contemporary consumer society.
Xiang received his MFA in Beijing from The Graduate School of Art, China in 1994. He’s participated in many group shows, both in China and the US, and in 2007 held two solo exhibitions in Philadelphia, at Vox Populi, and Snyderman Works Gallery.