Full Circle by Yu-Chen Wang
Sound design: Kristian Craig Robinson aka Capitol K
Cinematography: James Lockey, Tyrone Braithwaite
Technical installation: Andrew Quinn
Research support: Dave Rogerson, Chris Barron and Simon Ward of Doncaster Grammar School Rail Collection; Bob Gwynne and Thomas Spain of National Railway Museum, York;
Warren Draper of Bentley Urban Farm/Doncopolitan; Sasha Gray; Simon Pickles of North & East Yorkshire Ecological Data Centre; Michael Oliver of The Lindholme Old Moor Management Group; Paulette Benjamin of Gomde UK Buddhist Centre; Nicola Fox of Doncaster Museum
Curated by Mike Stubbs, specially commissioned by Doncaster Creates for DGLAM
With financial support from Doncaster Culture and Leisure Trust (DCLT)
Full Circle Forum, 26th March 2022 at Danum Gallery, Library and Museum
Speakers included: Yu-Chen Wang, Mike Stubbs, Liz McIvor, Louise Hill, Simon Pickles, Michael Oliver and Damien Allen.
Yu-Chen Wang is a Taiwanese-British artist who lives and works in London. Her work asks fundamental questions about human identity at a key point in history, where eco-systems and techno-systems have become inextricably intertwined. At the same time, her Taiwanese origins, combined with a London-based career, have created a vision that is personal and autobiographical. She has exhibited internationally, including at Science Gallery London, Manchester Art Gallery, FACT(Liverpool), CCCB(Barcelona) and Taipei Fine Arts Museum, and recently received the Honorary Mention Collide International Award, CERN(Geneva).
Creating an immersive cinematic video installation, Yu-Chen Wang took railwayana as a starting point for exploring Doncaster’s relationship to coal. With the support of local historians, geologists and environmentalists, this collaborative inquiry into regeneration and rewilding looks at the landscape surrounding South Yorkshire in the context of two major crises we are facing: inequality and environment.
This poetic work dwells on our relationship to place, peat bogs, water, coal are dominant features within the local landscape formed through the layering of time and compression of matter. Pitheads, slag heaps, mining subsidence and flooding, the edgelands are still full of post-industrial scars and traces. All of which are revealed through evocative moving images and a soundscape, which portray and reflect on these problems within a global condition to re-imagine new routes into the future.
The artist’s research focuses on how technologies enable movement of people, goods and information, as well as exploitation of natural resources and labour; how the land and ecologies, even our planet, have been altered and transformed through these activities. In this anthropogenic environment, a new version of nature is emerging—wildlife and modernity clash, human and non-human worlds entangle—a coevolution of human communities and their landscapes.
Full Circle, although composed of images and places captured locally, asks us how Doncaster sits within a broader international landscape as we did once before.
Yu-Chen Wang says:
“My work is largely informed by the history of places, collective memories, individuals’ stories, and the relationships I have established with these places and people. Various methods, including undertaking artist in residencies, conducting field research, developing collaborations and site-responsive projects across the UK and internationally have served as important processes for connecting places and people, whilst exploring and reconfiguring my own evolving cultural identity.”