Meng-Yu Yan’s ‘Orb Sighting (Moon in Leo)’ is part of their 2020 solo show ‘Double Witness’, which includes photographic works and a suite of 20 video letters. ‘Orb Sighting (Moon in Leo)’ 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. Yan’s photographic techniques are often characterised by multiplicity to suggest the supernatural, drawing from a fascination with the occult as a means for self-reflection and traversing the sublime. Here, the layering of many moons across the sky points to the artist’s attempts to connect with strange spectra and cosmic forces.
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.