This is an ongoing series created by images taken of the city of Tianjin, China in 2014. Inspired by Guy Debord’s ‘Theory of the Derive’, the artist wandered through the urban landscape of Tianjin capturing hundreds of images. The city itself has been occupied by many nations including Hungary, Belgium, Britain, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, and Russia. Each country left its own mark upon the face of the city. As a result, the urban landscape is incredibly fractured and multi- faceted. The artist pieced these images together creating digital collages expressing the fragmentation of the city’s identity, displacement of its inhabitants, and the rapid urbanisation taking over modern day China. The images reflect an inner landscape and expression of the artist’s own experience with diaspora. Each image is layered upon one another like pieces of a dream stitched together. The misty quality of the images are reminiscent of the qualities of jade and reflect the artist’s own name which translates into ‘dreams of jade’. 
Meng-Yu Yan
Instagram @mengyu.yan

Meng-Yu Yan (b. 1992, Sydney) is a photomedia-based cross-disciplinary artist. Their practice blends digital photographic methods with analogue manipulation, sculpture, time-based mediums, and installation. The artist embodies a trickster of sorts who enjoys playing “photographic games” with their audience. Their practice amalgamates various forms and materials - employing the use of mirrors, reflections, light, lenses, glass and water to conjure visual illusions and distort our vision of reality.

Characterised by spontaneity and experimentation Yan’s practice conveys strong conceptual engagement with self-reflection and alienation. As a first generation Australian-Chinese queer artist, Yan’s work consistently confronts the intersections between race, culture, sexuality and gender identity. Marked by fragmentation, multiplicity, and the unconscious their self-portraiture is reminiscent of Surrealist photographers such as Claude Cahun and Duane Michals. Their practice is concerned with occult themes such as spirit photography, divination, performative haunting, and astrological practices.

Yan’s first solo exhibition ‘occulere – vision & concealment’ debuted at Dominik Mersch Gallery in 2017. In 2019 Meng was awarded the Ross Steele Scholarship to fund their residency at the Cité Internationale des Arts in Paris, France. Yan completed their Master of Fine Arts (Research) funded by the Australian Government RTP Scholarship at UNSW Art & Design in 2020. Their research explores queer spectrality and cultural haunting through experimental photography.

Arc logos, Kudos online, Kudos Shop, Framework, Archive