I Am Your Agency 38

Huang Jing Yuan


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Object Detail

oil on canvas
45 x 59.5 cm
I Am Your Agency’ (2013), a series of monochrome, highly realist paintings, is sourced from vernacular photographs appropriated from Chinese web sites. The photographic language of consumerist desire dominates Chinese cityscapes, but Huang Jing Yuan instead seeks out the banal and unlovely. From tens of thousands of badly composed and badly shot images sourced from websites such as Taobao (the Chinese eBay), she looks for specific themes, selecting those few she wishes to reproduce before pairing or grouping them. Her title asks us to consider who has ‘agency’ in the construction and viewing of these images. What are we being sold, beyond the obvious products advertised?
Rows of fabric-skirted chairs in I Am Your Agency No. 38 suggest a plethora of possible interpretations. The viewer is tempted to construct a narrative of tragedy and drama. A wedding banquet cancelled? An official party abandoned? In fact, Huang sourced the photograph from a badly designed commercial website advertising chairs available to be hired for functions.
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