Student Mark Yang in Solo Exhibition ‘Body Double’

BY Brittany Nguyen, February 26, 2021

Body Double by student Mark Yang

Steve Turner Gallery presents solo exhibition Body Double in Los Angeles, California by student Mark Yang.


The exhibition features paintings Yang created during his time in the visual arts program up to the university shutdown following the pandemic. Yang’s painting practice is rooted in his desire to incorporate formal concerns relating to color, line and composition while addressing his identity as an immigrant, a Korean-American and a man.


Earlier paintings depicted two nude Asian men wrestling, aimed to “convey an aspect of male intimacy that is more common in Korean culture than in American culture. In doing so, he [Yang] connects his work to art historical forbearers–Greek vessels, Eakins, Muybridge, Bacon and Mapplethorpe. While there are many categories within identity-based contemporary art, the one irreducible category is the body. Despite differences of ethnicity, nationality, belief, gender and sexual orientation, everyone has a body,”  Steve Turner Gallery wrote about Yang. 


Over the course of the past year, Yang’s palette colors have become bolder while transitioning his figures to be more ambiguous. Racial identity receded and he added more figures to the compositions “making his scenes a choreography of impossible body configurations rather than one arising from a specific wrestling maneuver. By the end of the year he zoomed in on the bodies to such an extent that the figures’ heads were outside the picture frame. In depicting nude male bodies in close proximity–wrestling, grappling and contorting–Yang aims to convey an aspect of male intimacy that is more common in Korean culture than in American culture,” the press release states. 


Mark Yang, born 1994, Seoul, South Korea, immigrated to Los Angeles with his family when he was nine years old. He earned his BFA from Art Center College of Design ’17. Recent group exhibitions include those at Steve Turner, Los Angeles (2020); Thierry Goldberg Gallery, New York (2020); CP Projects Space, New York (2019) and Ki Smith Gallery, New York (2019). Body Double is Yang’s first solo exhibition.

Body Double is currently displayed for installation at the Steve Turner Gallery from February 13 through March 13, 2021.