Leonard Yang

Artist Bio

Leonard Yang is an artist living and working in New York. Working primarily in painting, his practice also spans photography, video, printmaking and drawing.

Born in Singapore, Leonard graduated from Nanyang Technological University with a BFA in Photography and Digital Imaging in 2015. He has exhibited in numerous exhibitions both locally and internationally. His most recent local exhibitions include Agora Gallery, Atlantic Gallery, The Bohemian National Hall, and Columbia University Teacher’s College. Internationally, Leonard has exhibited in The Institute of Contemporary Arts Singapore (ICAS), The Visual Arts Development Association (VADA) Singapore, Dongdaemun Design Centre, and the National Gallery Indonesia.

Leonard has participated in exchange programs for young artists in Korea and Indonesia. The first, organized by the ASEAN-Korea Centre in 2015, is a cultural immersion program and exhibition for winners of the ASEAN-Korean Art Prize at the Dongdaemun Design Centre. The latter, organized by Goethe Institute, was part of a residency program that culminated in an exhibition at the National Gallery Indonesia in 2017.

Within the arts, Leonard has held positions ranging from research and teaching assistantships, to technical officer at Lasalle College of the Arts (Singapore). During his tenure as Technical Officer, he was awarded a research grant to pursue his practice. Leonard is currently pursuing his MFA at Parsons Fine Arts, New York and will graduate in May 2019.

The Great Wave Over the Island of Yesterday, 2019

Oil on canvas, 36 x 72 inches

Into the City of Gray, 2018

Oil on linen, 38 x 52 inches

The Third Island, 2018

Oil on linen with acrylic transfer of drawing, 38 x 39.5 inches

Land of the Midnight Sun, 2018

Oil on linen with acrylic transfer of photograph, 26 x 39.5 inches

Old Houses no.1, 2018

Oil on canvas, 38 x 52 inches

Old Houses no.2, 2018

Oil on canvas, 26 x 39.5 inches

The Map to Coney Island, 2018

Oil on linen with acrylic transfer of drawing, 36 x 72 inches

The Legends and Oxymorons, 2018

Oil on linen with acrylic transfer of drawing, 36 x 72 inches

Artist Statement

Leonard Yang is an artist working primarily in painting. His practice also includes printmaking, drawing, and photography. Across his work, he uses pictorial methods, from linear and axonometric perspective to romantic tones, luminous hues, and pointilistic gestures to represent a mental space informed by autobiographic place and mnemonic images.

Within his canvases, pixilation and fuzzy drawings meet minutely detailed landscapes comprising trees, rocks, sky, sea, flowers, and elements from the built environment. The insets within his paintings reference the sensibilities of both a camera lens and the age-old framed picture, creating a dialogue between futuristic and old ways of seeing: the analogue and the digital, the artificial and the real. The buildings represented are a hallmark of an on-going fascination he has with the vernacular architecture of his native country, Singapore. A by-product of the condition of the current high-rise way of life, their juxtaposition amongst nature and low-rise dwellings are an expression of wonderment and nostalgia, desire and fear.

Yang works with an open-ended approach, using intuition to guide the marks he is making at the moment. From layers of thin and thick paint mixed with a medium of poppy and linseed oil to blurred and fuzzy insets and dashes of ink on a monotype, each and every piece invokes a very different mood and visceral feeling, dilating the temporal and spatial. Every painting is a portal to an alternate time and space, creating a world that appears to be made up of the familiar and the everyday, yet exists within the realm of the imaginary. At times, he ungrounds the present moment by layering these medium-loaded oil paints on top of photographs, lending them an ephemeral quality and fusing two disparate worlds together.