From the DS Archives introduces this week’s series, Summer of Utopia, in which we investigate seven different artists who either employ or interrupt ideas of utopia. Today we are exploring utopia by returning to a past feature on artist Meeson Pae Yang. Utopia – a broad conceptual imagining of a progressive and perfected society – has engaged many thinkers over the centuries since Sir Thomas More. Situated in our own time, within the context of global warming and continued deforestation, Yang’s work can be viewed as an inspired aesthetic vision of an ecological utopia. Recreating a seemingly natural environment within a sterile, urban setting, Yang’s idyllic snow-covered forest takes on the guise of a utopian vision.
Los Angeles-based artist Meeson Pae Yang creates intricate sculptures and installations that explore technology through the context of the body and the natural world. Developing systems that mimic both micro and macro environments, the artist often builds an entire ecosystem within a singular installation. Meeson Pae Yang’s most recent work, Traverse, takes place in a vacant storefront in California. The artist has built a replica forest-like landscape that is composed of translucent trees which spring from the hard concrete floor. The exhibition combines organic and synthetic material to create the illusion of a deep seated wintry forest.
The artist received her undergraduate degree from the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) and has completed recent projects with Lawerce Asher Gallery and JK Gallery, both in Los Angeles. Traverse, from 2009, was commissioned by the Arts Council for Long Beach for a vacant storefront at 5661 Atlantic Ave in Long Beach, California.