On the Cover: Paradox by Taylor Yingshi Wang
Taylor Yingshi is an emerging artist who hopes to use her art as a vessel to express the emotions of growing up as part of an interconnected, socially conscious generation.
Yingshi runs an art collective in Seattle called Student Art Spaces. Her work involves increasing equity in museums and galleries by rejecting elitism and inverting traditional expectations of young artists. The goal is to break down barriers at these institutions for historically marginalized artists. She hopes to create open conversation across generations about navigating the art world.
Much to her parents’ dismay, she was dead set on pursuing fine art as a career from a very young age. In the Chinese community, these types of risky careers are often frowned upon due to traditional beliefs in success that are defined by honor, stability and money. Her pieces often reference her own identity as a Chinese American.
“Thankfully, I have had the privilege of volunteering at local art museums and academies, which helped me come to terms with my unusual path. I think these types of mentor relationships are crucial, but today they have taken on new life in the form of digital art collectives, youth councils and peer-to-peer learning. The prevalence of social media has allowed this generation of artists to connect with each other and start communities of creative minds with ease.
Although the learning process has certainly deviated from the traditional apprenticeship format, there is no less wisdom or validity in our new structure. Some may say that youth teaching other youth, or even youth teaching adults, is not effective, but I believe that the community building and art healing we experience from these bonds is indispensable. At the first gallery I helped curate, we had a large audience of older-generation folks, and watching intergenerational learning happen before my eyes was a beautiful moment — people in their 60s and 70s expressed to me how much they learned about the youth from this art show.“