Domestic Affairs

Shangkai Kevin Yu

14 Sep. – 14 Oct. 2022

Opening: September 13, 6 – 9 pm


Future Gallery is pleased to announce Domestic Affairs, a solo exhibition by New York-based Taiwanese-artist Shangkai Kevin Yu. Yu will present a series of new oil paintings. The works traverse personal interior settings through the artist’s gaze of art history.

Through his hyper detailed compositions Yu explores the domestic objects in his domestic view exalting them through pristine paintings. These inanimate objects are anthropomorphized with care as if he has breathed life into them. The connections between the objects reveal a more nuanced and contemplative view of their relationships; there is an intimacy present within the work.

“Fornication in the kitchen drawer, lovers’ vacation swim in the sink, contemplation of life and death at the precipice of a fireplace. My work explores the relationships we have with our thoughts, environments, and each other, at a distance, as a third party. I construct these explorations in a narrative form with the objects that accompany me in my life and our collective cultural and artistic memories.”
-Shangkai Kevin Yu

His art historical references, albeit subtle, explode the work into a complex relationship with the past. Yu examines these objects almost as relics placed into contextualized scenarios. In the painting Ophelia, an homage to John Everett Millais’ iconic painting is combined with the aftermath of a buffet, where the ladle becomes the tragic Ophelia in a shallow pool of water.

Yu’s meticulous paintings create a virtual conflation of time between then and now. These domestic scenes are both accurate renderings of everyday objects as well as new fictions and interconnections combining the mundane and the sublime. There is a meditative interplay of references and indoor constructions in these reimagined domestic affairs.

Shangkai Kevin Yu, b. 1987 Taiwan, lives and works in New York. Yu earned his BFA at Parsons School of Design and MFA at New York Academy of Art. He has participated in residencies with the Leipzig International Art Programme in Germany. His work has been exhibited throughout the US, as well as Germany and Denmark.