YaYa Yajie Liang Chinese, b. 1995

Yaya Yajie Liang’s work explores the metamorphosis of the body itself and the potential of becoming animal. From the legendary banished beast to the interpenetration of biological space and represented space with body, Yaya interrogates how humans’ analogic mapping to and from animals (within imagined, lived, or taxonomic intimacies) casts a trans light back on the human to help us reconsider the prescribed definition of ‘humanity’, and bleeds ‘animality’, the ‘stuff’ of animal nature that sticks to animals in zombie humanism, back onto the humanness’s texture.
Taking inspiration from Agential Realism, Yaya views painting as a movement that is constantly repeating the ‘becoming’. Shifting restlessly between abstract and figurative modes, she uses improvisation to kick-start new paintings, allowing unplanned initial strokes to help dictate the works’ subsequent direction. With the collapse of a single central system of representation, the unruly encounter between diverse centers, superimposed perspectives, coexisting moments, and materials are produced and reshaped in the process of painting. Taking the risk of implanting harm, Yaya intensively invests in the agency of inanimate material. By transforming paint into flesh, her painting interrogates the cracks within the specific binary of animate and inanimate.


YaYa Yajie Liang (b. 1995, Henan, China) has a BA Fine Art China Central Academy of Fine Arts (2018) and a MA Painting at Royal College of Art (2020). She is doing Ph.D. research at Royal College of Art. YaYa has been shortlisted for The Waverton Art Prize (2022). Recent selected exhibitions include Universe 25, Gillian Jason Gallery, London, UK (2023); BLANK Gallery, Shanghai, China (2023); Machines of Desire, Simon Lee Gallery, London, UK (2022); 180 The Strand, London, UK (2022); Southwark Park Galleries, London, UK (2022); Fold Gallery, London, UK (2020); Beacon, Josh Lilley Gallery, London, UK (2020); Unit 1 Gallery, London, UK (2020). YaYa currently lives and works in London, UK and will present her first solo exhibition at Cob Gallery in London, in June 2023.