Born in Taiwan, he has resided now for many years in Lower Manhattan. He moved to the US when he was in his early twenties and attended Parsons School of Design and Pratt Institute, supporting himself by working various jobs. An experienced conceptual artist, painter, performance artist, video artist, and photographer, his interests in ecology and constructed environments have resulted in interactive performances and installations that have been exhibited in such spaces as: the Chelsea Museum, Queens Museum, the Godwin-Ternbach Museum, Exit Art, Flux Factory, the UN, and Union Square Park, to name a few.
His sculpture/installation work tends to be made of cans and other recyclable materials, which signals a conservational aesthetic in a society for the most part dedicated to waste. Not only do the cans have aesthetic features, such as shape, color, texture, and a certain relationship to light, they are themselves representations of what might have gone on to pollute the planet, had they not been put to more creative ends. Also, essential to much of his work is the use of modern and emergent technologies. These enable him to create immersive environments participants can interact with and even move about in.
The blending of separate disciplines has always been characteristic of his work. One of his shows—“123PollutionSolution,” a public performance at Union Square—was both video-art and an interactive installation designed to address society’s efforts to protect itself both physically and psychologically against natural and man-made catastrophes. As with most of his projects “123PollutionSolution” invited viewers to become better acquainted with the dark side of human nature and to think creatively in order to find a collective solution to the problems facing ourselves and the planet.
His work originally stems from a deep study of Lao Tzu and the philosophy of Taoism—but it has since come to incorporate the actual rhythms and discords of human society, exhibiting them in terms of the waste materials wantonly discarded by human production. Finding the modern world both disturbing and entrancing, he aim in his work to capture the complex state of anxiety and compulsive-fascination specific to the contemplation of the problems of our time. his performances often dramatize the divided quality of the self, and he use video projections to create a discordant ambience specific to the theme of each the performance.
His work is at once irreverent, philosophical, and inescapably political. A recent performance, “Broken Mind,” for example, highlighted the confusions experienced by an individual utterly taken in by consumer culture. Using small hand-held video projectors, he created an environment swarming with the literal promises of television ads and political leaders. Though this deranged characterizations, his performances retained much of what is generally valued by the status quo—a life of ease, abundance, and acceptance to majority rule. Yet the performance cut through this surface, and exposed what lies beneath the sheen of appearances.
In addition to acting as curator of 123soho.com and participating in numerous exhibitions, Chin Chih Yang continues to serve as an invited lecturer at universities and cultural institutions.
Chin Chih's work has been highlighted in the New York Times and he has also received coverage from the Taipei Times, CBS, NY Art Beat, Daily News, the Village Voice, Time Out New York, Flavorpill and Art Asia Pacific magazine.