This week, Ring Yuqi Yang, a Chinese actor and artist, was interviewed by NY Art Life.
NY Art Life Interview
Celebrating a variety of artists who are reshaping an art world that was once closed off is part of NY Art Life recently spoke with young Chinese actor and artist Ring Yuqi Yang about living an “art life” and their varied journey in order to realize this vision.
Ring Yuqi Yang is a queer artist who works in a variety of fields and has studios in DC and New York City. Unusual was their entry into the art world.
They added a theatre minor to their BS in Psychology at Syracuse University because they were unable to resist the pull of theater and performance art.
After that, Yuqi (Ring) made the decision to enroll at George Washington University to study classical theater. They developed a passion for heightened language, stage combat, clowning, and movement-based theater during this time of training at The Academy at Shakespeare Theatre Company.
Ring Yuqi Yang In New York City
Yuqi has been traveling between DC and New York City ever since they finished their education, researching ways to combine their work in multimedia and theater.
They debuted a visual work for Vanessa Chen’s collective exhibition What’s Your Name and Silently, I Am Still Here at George Washington University in 2022 after earning their qualification as an SAFD-certified actor combatant.
The Hayes-nominated production of Much Ado About Nothing, directed by internationally renowned director Simon Godwin, was Yuqi’s DC equity debut as well last year. The Washington Post described this production as “nothing but fun,” indicating that it was well-received by DC theatergoers and the press.
In addition to their performances on stage with Her Majesty and Sons and Much Ado About Nothing: The lively actor Richard II has developed a working relationship with other Asian media artists. They appeared in the horror short film Bakemono, which was directed by Sumire Takamatsu and Jorge Lucas and won awards at a number of festivals. It will be Yuqi’s fifth time working with Chinese director Frank (Feng) Gao in the 2023 film The Weeds.
The film, which is based on a true story, is about the legal battles between Chinese restaurant owners and the Philadelphia government over the racially biased “curfew law.” Kieth Merrill, who has been nominated for two Academy Awards and won the 1974 Best Documentary (Feature) Award, serves as co-executive producer on this culturally significant project; and Zhou Tiedong, a renowned film scholar and producer. As an actor and a crew member, Yuqi was thrilled to continue their artistic partnership with director Frank Gao on such an important project.
Yuqi has learned a lot about production with Gao, working as an assistant not only on set but also in event planning and directing. Yuqi was most recently an assistant director at the New Jersey Grand Resort Hotel’s Lunar New Year Gala. Most of the 500 people who showed up were talented people from different parts of the tri-state area, including some of the most influential Chinese Americans in the arts and business.
Ring Yuqi Yang In The Arts And Theater
An important part of Yuqi’s career journey is finding community in the arts and theater industry. They work as theater educators in their DC and New York hubs when they aren’t at work.
Yuqi’s ultimate objective is to encourage other Asian immigrants and transnationally minded individuals to share their stories with Western art audiences.
As they talked to New York Art Life about their artistic journey, Yuqi mentioned how each of these experiences was both difficult and empowering for them as an Asian actor in the film and theater industry: They explained that although a lot of changes are required, we can have an impact. We BIPOC and a queer artist must continue to fight against the opposition and share our stories.
The upcoming film The Weeds, directed by Frank Gao, is currently in pre-production and will begin filming in the winter of 2023. Ring Yuqi Yang is delighted to be working on this project and plans to exhibit additional visual works this year.