Meng-Yu Yan 颜梦钰 (b. 1992, Sydney) is a photomedia-based cross-disciplinary artist. Their practice blends digital photographic methods with analogue manipulation, sculpture, time-based mediums, and installation. The artist embodies a trickster of sorts who enjoys playing “photographic games” with their audience. Their practice amalgamates various forms and materials - employing the use of mirrors, reflections, light, lenses, glass and water to conjure visual illusions and distort our perception of reality.
Characterised by spontaneity and experimentation Yan’s practice conveys strong conceptual engagement with self-reflection and alienation. As a first generation Australian-Chinese queer artist, Yan’s work consistently confronts the intersections between race, culture, sexuality and gender identity. Marked by fragmentation, multiplicity, and the unconscious their self-portraiture is reminiscent of Surrealist photographers such as Claude Cahun and Duane Michals. Their practice is concerned with occult themes such as spirit photography, divination, performative haunting, and astrological practices.
Yan’s first solo exhibition ‘occulere – vision & concealment’ debuted at Dominik Mersch Gallery in 2017. In 2019 Meng was awarded the Ross Steele Scholarship to fund their residency at the Cité Internationale des Arts in Paris, France. Yan completed their Master of Fine Arts (Research) funded by the Australian Government RTP Scholarship at UNSW Art & Design in 2020. Their research explores queer spectrality and cultural haunting through experimental photography.