Yameng Lee Thorp
Dec 2 - 3, 11 am - 5pm
Yameng Lee Thorp (b. 1982) is an Oakland, California based artist. In the early 90s, she moved with her family to South Africa, where she spent much of her formative years between Durban and Cape Town. Growing up in South Africa revealed many juxtapositions; between her own Chinese cultural heritage and that of Africa, a place of both extreme natural beauty and a deeply troubled history of discrimination. Ecology, memory and migration are central themes to her work.
Yameng’s personal experience of having lived through generational trauma in a repressive society to unpacking the in-between-ness of being an immigrant are the subconscious layers that propelled her to pursue art full time. Now 6 years into her practice, she is at a critical and exciting juncture to launch her career onto the next level.
Although abstract, my visual language is deeply inspired by the landscape–both its physical qualities and its invisible energies and spirit. My work draws inspiration ranging from the inky landscapes of Zhang Daqian, and the color-field paintings of Helen Frankenthaler, to the textures and patterns of African tribal ceremony-dancers. I immigrated from China to South Africa at a young age, and finally to the United States. This journey included exile, familial trauma of suicide, and jarring experiences of political tumult as well as shocking cultural differences. I view the freedom and openness in my work as a quiet rebellion against repression through an ever-expressive medium that’s complex, playful and visually expansive.