Regatta Press Release

Regatta Press Release

Solo show by Yeni Mao (US)
Opening Reception: Thursday, October 23 from 7-9 pm
On view from October 23 thru November 16, 2014


Munch Gallery announces Regatta, the New York debut of works from Yeni Mao’s Batavia project made during a residency in The Netherlands, in response to the local modernist Bijlmer neighborhood. Regatta reopens the interaction of two historical events: the establishment of Batavia, Indonesia by the Dutch East India Company as the colonial center of its Asian empire in 1619, and Bijlmerramp, the 1992 plane crash into the immigrant Bijlmer suburb of Amsterdam. The flight carried a cargo of chemical weapon ingredients from the U.S. bound for Israel.

The centerpiece of the exhibition is single-channel video Whiskey Papa, in which the Air Traffic Control audio recording of El Al Flight 1862 is combined with the image of a burning model boat. Mao’s collision of histories suggests the interconnectedness of progress, catastrophe, and utopia in post-colonial societies. For Destroyer, Mao exposed the boat model kit’s A-4 paper knockouts to sunlight, creating a haunting photogram. Said Mao: “I wanted to archive and record the history of what the boat was—the parts were lost.” A series of smaller works impose sail shapes of the boat on photograms of public-domain images and data from the crash, including the radar path. The works are part of Mao’s larger art practice that regenerate histories and explore the distortion of public narratives through a range of mediums, including sculpture, installation, photography, and video. Regatta continues his interrogations of what he calls “oppositions”—authenticity against history, and archive versus memory.

The artist and gallery would like to thank Sasha Dees and Open Ateliers ZO Artist-in-residence program.


BIO: Yeni Mao was born in Canada and studied at The Art Institute of Chicago. He lives and works in New York City. Solo exhibitions include Collette Blanchard Gallery, and Zidoun-Bossuyt Gallery; and group exhibitions at Allegra LaViola Gallery, Andrew Edlin Gallery, the 9th Nicaraguan Biennial; Rush Arts, ROM for kunst og arkitektur, Shang Element Contemporary Art Museum, and the Stamp Gallery at the University of Maryland. Residencies include The Lijiang Studio and Red Gate Gallery in China, The Fountainhead Residency in Miami, OAZO-AIR in Amsterdam, and Flash Atöyle in Turkey. Mao’s work has been written about in The New York Times, Time Out New York, The Advocate, The Village Voice, and the Bangkok Post.