Born Guelph, Canada, 1971
Lives Mexico City, México
The sculptural practice of Yeni Mao engages in issues of fragmentation through equations of body and architecture. Mao pits the physical and psychological properties of restraint, domination and order against the chaos of the visceral human condition. The works are cyborg constructions. They play with architectonic suggestiveness, placing importance on the negative space, the absence, through a circumstantial framework. Various components and visual languages- expressions of craft, material building systems and modes of display- provide a sounding board of information. Working with the agency of materials, objects and building systems, Mao emphasizes the tension between both their embedded and perceived significance. In an ongoing dialogue with the significance of material production history, the alteration of those materials becomes a medium for language or narrative. Mao layers his own personal histories over the expansiveness of these concerns, most recently the projects are based in family mythologies. He consistently references his surroundings, drawing from the colonial amalgamation of processes and materials and their relationship with contemporary object production. Through fragmentation and de-contextualization, exploding the construction into components, Yeni Mao links our own personal cultural fusion and displacement with the way we construct our environment.
Yeni Mao (b. Guelph, Canada) is an American sculptor based in Mexico City. He received a BFA from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and subsequently trained in foundry work in California, and the architectural industries of New York. In 2016 Mao relocated to Mexico City. Yeni Mao’s work has been featured in numerous international exhibitions. Most recently, Mao presented the solo exhibitions “Yerba Mala” at Campeche in Mexico City, ”I desire the strength of nine tigers” at Fierman Gallery in New York, and a public sculpture with Brooke Benington in London. Among the many group exhibitions he has participated in are “Otrxs Mundxs“ at Museo Tamayo in Mexico City, “The Disorganized Body” at Zeller van Almsick in Vienna and “The Hearing Trumpet” at Galerie Marguo in Paris; and The IX Bienal De Artes Visuales Nicaraguenses in Nicaragua. Mao is a recipient of the Pollock-Krasner Foundation Grant 2021. Mao’s work has been written about in Art in America, The New York Times, Time Out New York, The Advocate, and The Village Voice.