Author Archives: Man Yau

2021||
M.Y. Chinoiserie|
Ceramic, glaze, ceramic decals (on-glaze), Baroque pearls, silk, blued steel|
200 x 160 x 60 cm||
Photography by Petri Summanen.

2021||
M.Y. Chinoiserie|
Ceramic, glaze, ceramic decals (on-glaze), Baroque pearls, silk, blued steel|
200 x 160 x 60 cm||
Photography by Petri Summanen.

Detail of the installation||
Photography by Emma Sarpaniemi.

Detail of the installation||
Photography by Emma Sarpaniemi.

Detail of the installation||
Photography by Emma Sarpaniemi.

Detail of the installation||
Photography by Emma Sarpaniemi.

Detail of the installation||
Photography by Emma Sarpaniemi.

Detail of the installation||
Photography by Emma Sarpaniemi.

Detail of the installation||
Photography by Emma Sarpaniemi.

Detail of the installation||
Photography by Petri Summanen.

M.Y Chinoiserie is an installation consisting of a series of ceramic sculptures, steel fixtures, pearls and silk. The work deals with an experience of exoticization through historical contexts and hierarchies. It aims to bring together material artifacts and traditional techniques in order to speak on the role of everyday objects, perceptions of values and aesthetical agents in racialized, gendered and commonly accepted narratives.

“Despite its relatively small surface area the room feels enormous. This impression is a result of the height of the room and the objects lining its walls, Chinese and Japanese porcelain vases – I recognize the room as a so called porcelain cabinet. The guard overseeing me informs me that the duke that used to rule over this particular European palace had acquired these vases from abroad and built this room in order to satisfy his lover, to keep her in the confines of the palace.

The utmost prestige and the exotic nature of the porcelain objects are a manifestation of the power and wealth of the duke. The more precious vases are situated lower and the less valuable ones higher on the wall, making them harder to see clearly. As I am observing the vases I discover that each one has different scenes and tales hand-painted with astounding precision, tales from elsewhere, foreign to this soil and this palace.

I wonder did the lover of the duke ever think about the reason why and how these objects ended up in this palace? Did she attempt to understand these stories stolen from across the world or did she attempt to understand the story where such objects are retrieved for the amusement of lovers?

After a while I will be asked what these stories are about. ” [work description from the exhibition catalogue, May 2021.]

M.Y. Chinoiserie was presented part of the group exhibition Kuvan Kevät, the annual MFA Degree Show of the Academy of Fine Arts, University of the Arts Helsinki, at Exhibition Laboratory in May 2021.

2021||
Installation overview on Vaasankatu||
Photography by Lukas Malte Hoffmann and Susan Kooi.

Detail of the installation||
Midsummer Rose text written on window by Lukas Malte Hoffmann and Susan Kooi: rubber latex, acrylic paint ||
Photography by Lukas Malte Hoffmann and Susan Kooi.

Detail of the installation||
Greenhouse lights from VALOYA Oy, chains, timer||
Photography by Lukas Malte Hoffmann and Susan Kooi.

Detail of the installation||
Juhannusruusu||
Photography by Lukas Malte Hoffmann and Susan Kooi.

Detail of the installation||
Photography by Lukas Malte Hoffmann and Susan Kooi.

Fairfarren|
Ceramic, underglaze, glaze|
39 x 47 x 47 cm||
Photography by Lukas Malte Hoffmann and Susan Kooi.

Fairfarren|
Ceramic, underglaze, glaze|
39 x 47 x 47 cm||
Photography by Lukas Malte Hoffmann and Susan Kooi.

Fairfarren|
Ceramic, underglaze, glaze|
39 x 47 x 47 cm||
Photography by Lukas Malte Hoffmann and Susan Kooi.

Detail of the installation||
Strawberry’s by Lukas Malte Hoffmann and Susan Kooi: playdough, cotton, rubber latex, acrylic paint ||
Photography by Lukas Malte Hoffmann and Susan Kooi.

Detail of the installation||
Bloomed Juhannusruusu||
Photography by Lukas Malte Hoffmann and Susan Kooi.

“The exhibition Midsummer Rose is centered around a juhannusruusu rosebush (Rosa pimpinellifolia) whose cream-white flowers appear commonly around midsummer in Finland. Greenhouse lights installed in the gallery recreate the day-night rhythm of the midsummer period and shine light through the window onto the winter street. This setting allows us to travel back to the summer of 2020 on a small and safe scale, protected like a rose inside a dome. At the end of the exhibition, when the last petal falls, the spell will be broken. Midsummer Rose is exercise, meditation, protest, and exodus.

For this occasion, Lukas Malte Hoffman and Susan Kooi have invited a group of artists and arts workers to present their work. Man Yau will show a new ceramic work Fairfarren that will, as if by magic, let the rosebush thrive and prosper. Composer Malibu has put together an exclusive ambience mix for the exhibition, which can be heard from outside the gallery and online here. The booklet accompanying the exhibition features Feminist Culture House’s contribution, a cocktail recipe that was conceptualised for those foraging and making infusions during midsummer 2020. Susan Ploetz’s work Skinship: Touching Intelligence is a LARP in which participants play alien, sensing creatures exploring their surroundings, objects and beings in a strange new land. ” [an excerpt from the press release, January 2021.]

Some words about the work Fairfarren:

The name Fairfarren, that comes directly from the story of Alice and the wonderland, means Farewell (or “good journeying” /”fare far then”). The word is said by the character called Mad Hatter. The origin of the Mad Hatter name comes from the illness called Erethism, or the so called “mad hatter syndrome”: Apparently the hat makers aka craftsmen who were making hats back in the days, went crazy simply because they were using very poisonous mercury in the hat making process. So some say that in the Alice story, the mad hatter is a reference to this illness, that the magical world that the mad hatter is talking throughout the story is only in his head – his world is somewhere between magic and madness. And “Fairfarren” is the last word he whispers to Alice, just before vanishing – yet it’s the first time Alice truly understands the Mad hatter’s odd language.

Inside my Fairfarren piece, there’s a short phrase saying “Let’s have a Dream which isn’t under control”, another reference to madness. It’s as a spell that refers to a time we have lost and that we can’t regain (or will we…) This sentence is from Alan Watt’s speech( or poem idk what to call it). The poem itself has been used in many songs or yoga /zen/zodiac sign lifestyle blogs and it’s about dreaming so far, that eventually you will dream yourself to the moment where you are now. It’s tacky yet a pretty and romantic view.

Lastly, some obvious references are donkkarihattu (because nostalgia, beautiful losers, youth) and the idea of a magician lifting something unexpected from the hat – such as midsummer rose.

Midsummer Rose was exhibited at Outo Olo, in January2021.

For more information: www.outo.space/midsummer-rose/

2020||
Come Little Birdies…|
(installation consisting of four sculptures)|
Tiffany-glass, ceramic, glaze, paracord string, bird food|Size variable || Photography by Sakari Tervo.

Detail of the work || Photography by Sakari Tervo.

Detail of the work || Photography by Sakari Tervo.

Detail of the work || Photography by Sakari Tervo.

Detail of the work || Photography by Sakari Tervo.

Detail of the work || Photography by Sakari Tervo.

Detail of the work || Photography by Sakari Tervo.

Detail of the work || Photography by Sakari Tervo.

Detail of the work
|| Photography by Sakari Tervo.

Come Little birdies… is part of a group exhibition called BIRD FEEDERS, curated and organised by Sakari Tervo. Commissioned artworks were installed and documented during his Pro Artibus Residency in Tammisaari forest, and the final exhibition was published online at Ofluxo.

View the online exhibition here. 

2019||
Gallery view at Kämp Garden, Garden Room||Photography by Sakari Tervo.

Gallery view at Kämp Garden, Garden Room||Photography by Sakari Tervo.

MY-7|
Ceramic, underglaze, glaze|32 x 38 x 3 cm||Photography by Sakari Tervo.

MY-4|
Ceramic, underglaze, glaze|44 x 32 x 3 cm||Photography by Sakari Tervo.

MY-3|
Ceramic, underglaze, glaze|39 x 43 x 4 cm||Photography by Sakari Tervo.

MY-2|
Ceramic, underglaze, glaze|45 x 41 x 4 cm||Photography by Sakari Tervo.

MY-5|
Ceramic, underglaze, glaze|36 x 32 x 4 cm||Photography by Sakari Tervo.

MY-6|
Ceramic, underglaze, glaze|47 x 39 x 3 cm||Photography by Sakari Tervo.

MY-1|
Ceramic, underglaze, glaze|41 x 43 x 3 cm||Photography by Sakari Tervo.

MY-8|
Ceramic, underglaze, glaze|23 x 61 x 26 cm||Photography by Sakari Tervo.

Gallery view at Kämp Garden, Garden Room||Photography by Sakari Tervo.

Gallery view at Kämp Garden, Garden Room||Photography by Sakari Tervo.

 

 

The ceramic sculptures Shiga-Love series were created at Shigaraki Ceramic Cultural Park in Japan where I was selected as a resident artist by SCCP in cooperation with Finnish Institute in Japan in 2018. During the residency I focused on the glazing techniques as an attempt to develop new ways of coloring by using only ceramic methods, yet in a way that the ceramic as a material begins to resemble another occurrence. The sculptures remain like illustrated layers which have been cut out of the canvas and hanged on the wall, and a layer glazed blue or a sentence engraved on a surface refer to an excerpt from a significant turning point in a prolonged process within my ceramic practice in general. 

In the joint exhibition Shiga-Love and Magic Carpets shows the results from the residency alongside a collection of paintings by Jussi Niskanen. It’s a collection of ceramic sculptures and oil paintings which are connected in the portrayal of time through the usage of different layers which both hide something underneath them and on the other hand expose new perspectives.

The exhibition Shiga-Love and Magic Carpets was exhibited at Kämp Garden, Garden Room in Helsinki, 2019. Shiga-Love series are exhibited with travelling group exhibition “Finnish Season” organised by Finnish Institute Benelux and Spazio Nobile Gallery in Paris and Brussels during 2019-2020.

2017||
Gallery view at Gallery Huuto||Photography by Emma Sarpaniemi.

MOONY|
Wood, spray paint, acrylic|
85 x 45 x 20 cm||Photography by Emma Sarpaniemi.

Detail of the work||Photography by Emma Sarpaniemi.

SUN|
Wood, spray paint, acrylic, steel|
85 x 90 x 6 cm||Photography by Emma Sarpaniemi.

Detail of the work||Photography by Emma Sarpaniemi.

AIR|
Colored concrete, wood, spray paint, marble, steel|
90 x 55 x 21 cm||Photography by Emma Sarpaniemi.

DELFU|
Wood, spray paint, varnish|
125 x 40 x 35 cm||Photography by Emma Sarpaniemi.

Detail of the work||Photography by Emma Sarpaniemi.

SEA | (installation consisting of six sculptures) |
Paper clay, glaze, steel, paracord|
340 x 270 x 85 cm||Photography by Emma Sarpaniemi.

Detail of the work||Photography by Emma Sarpaniemi.

Detail of the work||Photography by Emma Sarpaniemi.

Gallery view at Gallery Huuto||Photography by Emma Sarpaniemi.

 

 

In the beginning of the process I started to sculpt “something” out of wood with my chainsaw in the forest, without really knowing what it would become. Learning the nature of the new material seemed liberating. As I worked in an isolated environment and without a clear plan, it gave me the opportunity to focus entirely on the creating and constructing in its entirety, but also forced me to deal with the relationship with my own artistic identity. Sculpting became a method to produce something that I can hardly describe in words, and after a while, all of this absurdity started to make sense – at least in my head. I started to dream about Delfu’s world, I imagined her swimming in the sea, surrounded by glossy and colorful surfaces, and in order to make it actually happen, I needed to work on each sculpture to look like there’s no human touch. So all the countless hours spent on those sculptures needed to be hidden so that Delfu and her world would become independent.

The exhibition Delfu is about an illusion of the rational world and the paradox of the artistic work. In the exhibition text, written by Lauri Alaviitala, referred to Albert Camus’ essay dealing the Myth of Sisyphus (Albert Camus: The Myth of Sisyphus [Le Mythe de Sisyphe, 1942], English translation Justin O’Brien, 1955 ). In Camus’ essay, he concludes that “One must imagine Sisyphus happy”, and in Lauri’s text the work of Sisyphus is compared to the artistic work. “A perfect sculpture does not show the hours worked, the versions created, the learning of the nature of the material, the experiments that have been rejected – the fallen boulders. Being sharp-eyed can be torturous, but only continuing one’s work will make one’s victory complete. Every time Sisyphus follows his boulder down into the plain, he becomes more powerful than the boulder.”

The paradox comes when the reality steps in, and I once again realise the absurdity of my own work. One could say that Sisyphus’ fate is everyone’s fate: the workman of today works every day of his life at the same tasks, and this fate is no less absurd.

The exhibition Delfu was exhibited at Gallery Huuto, Jätkä 1. in August 2017.

2017||Porcelain, glaze, rubber carpet|140 x 140 x 41|| Photography by Emma Sarpaniemi.

Detail of the work|| Photography by Emma Sarpaniemi.

Detail of the work|| Photography by Jussi Kantonen.

Exhibition view from the exhibition “A Passing Permanence” at Space for Free Arts|| Photography by Emma Sarpaniemi.

This installation explores the purity of shape and form through the surface: Planet HER-BB is a picture-perfect installation that feels like plastic. It gives a glimpse into the planet’s vegetation. The exaggerated smoothness of the plants and flora are bulbous and colourful, practically perfect in their shine. I strived to remove every trace that could reveal the process behind the piece. What is essential is the surface, repetition and a rootless state of being that depicts the problematics of productivity.

Planet HER-BB installation has been exhibited in group exhibitions “Käännekohta” at Gallery Sculptor and FemF (Feminist Forum) exhibition in 2017, and at the exhibition “A Passing Permanence” at Space for Free Arts in Helsinki, 2018.