Submission
Alison Yip

Soma Topika

Reflecting on the radical systems failures and temporal shifts of the current moment, Yip’s most recent body of work, "Soma Topika," led the artist to look for ways to envision alternative futures.


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Alison Yip, "What will cause me great embarrassment? (Somatic)" (detail), 2021, oil, paper, laminate tile. Photo: Rachel Topham Photography.
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Alison Yip, installation view of "Soma Topika," 2022. Photo: Rachel Topham Photography.
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Alison Yip, installation view of "Soma Topika," 2022. Photo: Rachel Topham Photography.
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Alison Yip, installation view of "Soma Topika," 2022. Photo: Rachel Topham Photography.
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Alison Yip, installation view of "Soma Topika," 2022. Photo: Rachel Topham Photography.
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Alison Yip, "What will cause me great embarrassment? (Auratic)" (detail), 2022, oil, steel. Photo: Rachel Topham Photography.

Across her work in painting, wall treatments, writing, and sculpture, artist Alison Yip moves between the observational and the speculative. Known for an ongoing concern with the ambiguities and ambivalences of figuration and perception, Yip’s works often evoke transitional states, mystical forms and psychic or spiritual phenomena to consider the disconnected ways humans experience time, space, self, and relationships.

Reflecting on the radical systems failures and temporal shifts of the current moment, Yip’s most recent body of work, Soma Topika, led the artist to look for ways to envision alternative futures. Undertaking parallel divinatory processes, Yip engaged both a neo-shaman and a psychic, posing to each an identical set of questions about her life, relationships and desires. From this, she produced two sets of intimate oil paintings, depicting herself in each as a poseable mannequin in scenes that interpret the concurrent yet contradictory readings delivered to her. Rendered on unconventional substrates—scraps of metal for the psychic’s predictions and laminate floor tiles for the neo-shaman’s—Yip presents these works at CAG amidst a gallery under renovation, offering a scene that is as provisional and unfixed as the futures she seeks.