For her first institutional solo exhibition, Steph Huang will present a series of sculptures exploring food and fortune. Originally from Taiwan and now based in London, Huang is interested in how trade routes and supply chains are informed by colonial legacies. Both an artist and a chef, she looks at food as a ritual, and as one of the oldest forms of exchanges between cultures.
Huang has spent time researching markets throughout London – including Ridley Road, Peckham, Deptford and East Street markets – as well as markets in Paris and Taiwan. She is interested in the unique traditions of each market and the diverse “cultural spirits” that inhabit them, as well as how they function as interfaces between consumer and capitalism. The imagery of market signage and architecture will be incorporated into her work, but also the rubbish and detritus produced and discarded by materialism and trade.
New works made especially for the exhibition will bring the formal language of bars, restaurants and markets into the gallery. A free-standing sculpture will echo the revolving clothing hanging structures typically found on stalls, while another sculpture will reference ATM machines but through a fortune-telling pig’s head. Huang combines materials such as wood, steel, copper, handblown glass, fabric, photography, sound and motors to create environments that are interactive and playful. She questions how our collective behaviours and superstitions produce a kind of surreal absurdity, and how this implicates labour, culture and the economy.
This exhibition is co-commissioned by Goldsmiths CCA and Devonshire Collective, Eastbourne. A second chapter of the show will open in Eastbourne in November.
Steph Huang was born in Taiwan, and lives and works in London. She received her MA in Sculpture from Royal College of Art in 2021. This will be Huang’s first solo show in a UK institution. Previous solo exhibitions include mother’s tankstation, London (2022); ArtWorks Project Space, London (2020); Peak, London (2020); and 4Cose, London (2019). Selected group exhibitions include Belmacz, London (2021); San Mei Gallery, London (2021); Bloc Projects, Sheffield (2021); South London Gallery (2021); Cromwell Place, London (2021); Nida Art Colony of Vilnius Academy, Lithuania (2020); Bolton Museum (2019); Podium, Luxembourg (2019); Alte Handelsschule, Leipzig (2018); Incheon Art Platform, Seoul (2018); and A.P.T. Gallery, London (2017).
Episodes is an ongoing series of solo presentations that span installations, screenings, discursive events and new commissions. The focus of this programme is to provide an experimental platform for emergent practices. The series has featured work by: Olivia Sterling (17 Sep – 14 Nov 2021), Kobby Adi (21 May – 4 Jul 2021), Sophie Barber (18 Sep – 25 Oct 2020), Roland Carline (16 Nov 2019 – 12 Jan 2020), Corey Hayman (17 Jul – 11 Aug 2019), Adam Christensen (27 Apr – 27 May 2019), and Oisín Byrne (14 Dec 2018 – 3 Feb 2019). Episodes is generously supported by the Episodes Circle: Alison Jacques Gallery, Alexander Petalas, Brian Johnson, Carlos/Ishikawa, Niru Ratnam and Georgie Griffiths, and Olga Ovenden.
EPISODE 8: STEPH HUANG - A Great Increase In Business Is On Its Way | Press Release