There's more to it than meets the eye
Why does dark matter really matter? Yu-Chen Wang’s new installation shines a light on the personal stories inspiring physicists to dedicate their working lives to researching dark matter. Wang chronicles the three different methodologies scientists use to try and detect it: conducting experiments deep underground; searching for it in outer space; or attempting to make it at places like CERN (European Organisation for Nuclear Research). Central to the artist’s practice is drawing, which allows her to explore and meditate on the mechanisms used to understand the fundamental nature of reality. In painstaking detail, her new pencil drawing depicts in hybrid form, various machine parts from scientific instruments used in physics, including those that look for dark matter. Her script is based on the many conversations she had with physicists at King’s College London, UCL, University of Liverpool, LJMU and at CERN, and is testimony to her own personal ‘brain bending and mind boggling’ journey. She ponders on philosophical questions around scientific truth and the limits of knowledge.
The work of Yu-Chen Wang asks fundamental questions about human identity at a key point in history, where eco-systems and techno-systems have become intertwined. At the same time, her Taiwanese origins, combined with a London-based practice, have created a vision that is personal and autobiographical. Her central practice is drawing, allowing her to explore and meditate on mechanical and biological forms, and the ways in which their borders blur and mutate.