I Will No Longer Describe Myself as Hamlet

Yu Yang

Edinburgh Sculpture Workshop Research Space

I Will No Longer Describe Myself as Hamlet is a collective about how politics look and feel, demonstrating Yu Yang's commentary on mainland Chinese politics from 2019 to 2022. While rooted in politics, the arms of Yu Yang’s works reach into areas of the emotional, generational, and historical that consider various levels of production and meaning, exploring metaphor, appropriation, and landscapes, both architectural and psychological. A collective where objects illustrate a non-linear story regarding the ghostly resonances that exist between fact and fiction, history and the present tense.

In Yu Yang's work Chairman (2019), he brought an office chair into the symbolic site of Tiananmen Square and sat down against the head of Chairman Mao, when sensing the gaze of the secret police, the artist got up and left. In another work, Impossible and Undefined Fragments (2020), the artist recalls the pro-democracy movement that took place in 1989, also known as the 1989 Tiananmen Square protests or June Fourth Clearing. This work was first exhibited in an alternative space in Beijing in June 2020. On the 4th of June, the artist came to the exhibition and drank a whole box of milk that was about to expire on the same day with a glass.

In his latest work, Tiger, Tiger, Tiger, Sheep, Sheep, Sheep (2022), he drew a crisscrossing board on a common paving slab. This is a game often played in the artist's childhood, called Tiger Eats Sheep. The rules of the game are simple: the tiger takes all the sheep, or the sheep encircle the tiger. In this way, Yu Yang has developed a unique poetics in which elements from literature, history and observation of the world converge in a new continuously evolving vocabulary, spoken from the surface of things. As if left alone to gaze at each other, political and everyday motifs unite and dialogue with each other.


Work List