Artist's Statement

I grew up in Singapore at a time when the country was rapidly undergoing social and economic transitions from third world to first. My childhood was spent discovering unused back roads, hidden vistas, and pockets of nature off the beaten gravel roads that were sprouting up everywhere in the country. My paintings are a reflection of this lived experience and my migratory encounters with other places, cities, and cultures.

Across my paintings, man-made dwellings and monuments meet minutely detailed landscapes comprising trees, rocks, sky, sea, flowers, and other little observations in the natural environment. Scenes, places, architecture, parks, flora and fauna from the cities I have lived - New York and Singapore are interwoven into narrative paintings. These paintings are liminal spaces that reflect on sustainability, native histories, geographical boundaries, as well as the emotional connection towards an adopted home vis-à-vis one’s ethnographical place of origin. Using axonometric perspectives, romantic tones, luminous hues, thick and thin glazes of paint and a variety of expressive gestures, I weave together places, dreams, and autobiographic memories into imaginary landscapes.

These imagined landscapes shed light on ethnic ways of life, erasure, gentrification, climate change and urbanization in metropolises while proposing speculative worlds where new systems of living and remembrance are created through the pictorial integration of place, memory, imagination, dreams, and time.

Leonard studied at Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (BFA 2015), and Parsons, The New School for Design, New York, NY (MFA 2019). His work has been featured at the The Institute of Contemporary Arts (ICAS), Singapore; The Visual Arts Development Association (VADA), Singapore; Dongdaemun Design Centre, Korea; the National Gallery Indonesia; Atlantic Gallery, NY; Gallery MC, NY; and La Bodega Gallery, NY. He was most recently a resident artist at the Goethe Institute, Jakarta, Indonesia, in 2017.

Selected Exhibitions:
'Bringing Home, Home', online solo exhibition – Art Yourself Studio, New York, NY
'Bringing Home, Home' a solo exhibition by Leonard Yang – Jalan Besar Salon, Singapore
Night & Day – Local Project Art Space, New York, NY
Puro Color 2 – La Bodega Gallery, New York, NY
Art 52nd Street 2019 – Gallery MC, New York, NY
More Than Landscape – Parsons School of Design, New York, NY
Escapeism – Curated by Katharine Dufault, Atlantic Gallery, New York, NY
Dissociations: Land, Water, Flesh – Parsons School of Design, New York, NY
Praxis of Artist and Curator – Curated by Dahye Kim, Columbia University, New York, NY
Asian Students and Young Artist's Art Fair (ASYAAF) – Dongdaemun Design Center, Seoul, Korea
European Literature Night – Bohemian National Hall, New York, NY
Now, an Unbecoming – Parsons School of Design, New York, NY
Mirabillia: A book of Wonders – curated by Paulina Kim, Parsons School of Design, New York, NY
Chelsea International Fine Art Competition Exhibition – Agora Gallery, New York, NY
Mutual Unknown – Galeri Nasional Indonesia, Jakarta, Indonesia
Liminal State – Mizuma Gallery, Singapore
UNTAPPED Emerging – Visual Arts Development Association (VADA), Singapore
Harper's Bazaar Art Prize Exhibition – Singapore
Collective Dreams: Images from a New Generation Pop-up Noise Exhibition – Singapore
Photo Speaks 2015 | 7th International Festival for Photography and Video – Busan, Korea
Reiterated Spaces – Goodman Arts Center, Singapore
The Mill x WeJungle: Destruction and Rebirth – Singapore
ART STAGE Singapore 2015: We Are ASIA Student Competition Exhibition – Singapore
ASEAN–Korean Multimedia Competition Exhibition – Seoul, Korea
Unseen Light – Nanyang Technological University, Singapore
COS•MO The Constant Self Recording Mode – curated by Gilles Massot, Institute of Contemporary Arts Singapore (ICAS), Singapore

Awards and Residencies:
June 2017 | Mutual Unknown Residency, Goethe Institute, Jakarta, Indonesia
Oct 2016 | Research Project Funding Grant, awarded by LASALLE College of the Arts, Singapore
Sept 2015 | Harper’s Bazaar Art Prize Finalist
Aug 2015 | Celeste Prize – Editor’s Choice
Mar 2015 | National Arts Council Matchbox Grant (Youth Arts)
Jan 2015 | ART STAGE Singapore 2015 We Are ASIA Student Competition: 2nd Prize
Jan 2014 | Winner of ASEAN-Korea Multimedia Competition 2014
Aug 2014 | School of Humanities and Social Sciences (NTU) Dean’s List

Connect with Leonard at
or Instagram at @leonard.yang