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My New Job, An Interactive Performance Piece, Addresses Economic Dislocation

-- Multimedia Artist Chin Chih Yang Dons Suit to Portray a Professional Can Collector; Performance at Queens College October 27; Installation Begins on October 25 --

FLUSHING, N.Y., October 15, 2010 -- My New Job, a darkly comic installation and performance piece by multimedia artist Chin Chih Yang, will begin on Monday, October 25, as the artist traverses the campus, assembling materials for the installation he will create between Klapper Hall and the Dining Hall. Visitors who arrive at the Godwin-Ternbach Museum between 2 and 3 pm on October 25 will be taken to meet the artist and view the installation. The artist’s work will continue on Wednesday, October 27, from 12:30 to 5:30 pm. Visitors who come to the museum on October 27 will also be directed to the artist. This event is part of Queens College’s Year of China program.

Yang, a Taiwan native who now lives in SoHo, specializes in interactive works—often accompanied by text, sound, and live video as well as live performance—that address society’s attempts to protect itself against natural and man-made catastrophes. 

In My New Job, his most recent piece, he will wear a full dress suit on October 27 to portray an unemployed individual doing the only paid work available to him in the current recession: collecting beverage cans for redemption. As he simulates the behavior of this “professional,” Yang explores the ambiguous status of his character, and others like him. By helping to reduce waste, he is a good citizen, maybe even a hero, but in an ironic twist he is also a lowly scavenger, struggling to save himself rather than the planet. During the performance, students and other viewers will be invited to participate in activities Yang has devised, in an effort to raise awareness about the pressing need for change, which is the subtext of all his work.

“Chin Chih is a rare person who can speak out against hypocrisy and corruption without being strident or self-righteous,” says Amy Winter, GTM’s director. “He blends the artist’s creativity with a clear, accessible message about the need to act and think as world citizens. His projects attack the dramatic changes occurring in our society and environment with intelligence, humor, and originality, without losing the seriousness of their message in novelty or gimmickry.”

Yang has a BFA from Parsons School of Design and an MS from Pratt Institute. He has received numerous awards for his work, which has been exhibited by Exit Art and has appeared in such prominent public locations as Rockefeller Center and the United Nations’ Ralph Bunche Park. 2050 Dumbo, selected as a “Voices Choice” by the Village Voice in 2008, was his “inconvenient truth”—a video projection that simulated the “drowning” of the DUMBO neighborhood as a commentary on the danger of rising sea levels resulting from global warming.

A similar video installation at the Godwin-Ternbach Museum’s Meditation in Contemporary Landscape Art in 2008 showed Wall Street submerged, awash with flotsam and jetsam in the wake of a catastrophic flood, while Trees, made of recycled soda cans, formed an elaborate arched arbor that served as a gateway to the exhibition. This summer, Yang was in residence at the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council’s Swing Space urban art program on Governor's Island, developng new projects for public presentation.

My New Job is being presented in conjunction with another Year of China art show: GTM’s exhibition of Marlene Tseng Yu’s Nature and Cosmos (Sept. 13-Nov. 24, 2010), a retrospective of over 50 brilliantly colored, monumental abstract paintings by this internationally recognized Taiwan-born Chinese artist. For a full schedule of Year of China events, go to

The Godwin-Ternbach Museum at Queens College is the only comprehensive collection of art and artifacts in the borough of Queens, housing nearly 4,000 objects that date from ancient to modern times. The mission of the GTM has grown over time from serving as a teaching museum for the benefit of art and art history students to embracing all disciplines and an increasingly diverse and engaged community. All exhibitions are free, as are their related lectures, symposia, gallery talks, workshops, films, concerts, and tours.

For more information about current exhibitions and programs at the museum, call 718-997-4747 or visit Exhibition entry and public programs are FREE. Museum hours are Monday–Thursday, 11 am to 7 pm; Saturday, 11 am to 5 pm. The museum, in room 405 Klapper Hall, is located on the Queens College campus, 65-30 Kissena Boulevard., Flushing.

Travel Information

By car, the Godwin-Ternbach Museum at Queens College is 40 minutes from midtown Manhattan. Directions are at


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