Meng-Yu Yan’s ‘Halo’ is part of their 2020 solo show ‘Double Witness’, which includes photographic works and a suite of 20 video letters. ‘Halo’ is part of the artist’s greater research into Queer Spectrality: a term used to describe the ways queerness has been disavowed and rendered spectral throughout history. Mirrors, reflections and doppelgängers often feature in Yan’s works, and for ‘Double Witness’ the figure of the ghost plays a central role. By resurrecting the ghost of Qiu Miaojin, a queer Taiwanese writer who lived in Paris during the early 90s, Yan becomes “a medium who has opened themselves up to being haunted, allowing Qiu’s words to come alive again through my physical embodiment.”
Meng-Yu Yan is a photography-based artist based in Sydney, best known for their creation of spectral self-portraits. Their work also encompasses video, installation, aquaria, performance, sculpture, and projection. Yan embodies the role of the trickster who enjoys playing “photographic games”with their audience, creating Surrealist images that recall the artworks of Claude Cahun and Duane Michals. As a first generation Chinese-Australian queer artist, Yan’s work consistently confronts the intersections between race, culture, sexuality and gender identity. In 2019, they were notably selected for the residency program at the Cité Internationale des Arts in Paris and awarded the Ross Steele Scholarship.