Yeni Mao studied at The School of The Art Institute of Chicago. Mao’s work covers a large spectrum of the visual arts, including painting, photography, large installations, sculptures and video art. In his work he focuses on disrupting grand narratives and distorting dominant discourses. Mao has a particular interest in oppositions, e.g. history versus authenticity, archive versus memory and physicality versus fantasy, often with specific historical or mythological references.
During his residency Mao worked on project Batavia in which he explores the interconnection of progress, catastrophe, and utopia in a post-colonial context. His research resulted in several new pieces where he looked at the interaction of two historical events: the Bijlmerramp, the 1992 plane crash into the Groeneveen and Klein-Kruitberg flats in the Bijlmermeer, and the establishment of Batavia (now Jakarta) in 1619 by the Dutch East India Company (Vereenigde Oostindische Compagnie), the headquarters of the Dutch Empire within Asia for maritime trading. His research resulted among others in the video piece Whiskey Papa showing the destruction of a ship by fire, overlaid with the Air Traffic Control recording of El Al flight 1862. He presented this work in the studio, in FLATSTATION as part of the project Sister from another Mister, as well as at festival Cultuur?Barbaar! Moreover, the project will premier in New York at his solo exhibition Regatta at Munch Gallery, was shown with his Whiskey Papa exhibition at Zidoun-Bossuyt Gallery in Luxembourg, and was presented at the 9th Bienal de Artes Visuales Nicaraguense. For a 30 second clip of Whiskey Papa click here.
Yeni Mao (CA, 1971)