Yi To (1995) is a London-based artist born in Hong Kong. To is currently completing an MA in Painting at the Royal College of Art and previously received a BA in Fashion & Textile from The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (2017). Her most recent show was at the Hockney Gallery in London (2020).
To’s work oscillates between figuration and abstraction, pointing to possibilities beyond the spatial-temporal world. Her paintings depict themes that revolve around the unlearned and pre-narratives in living bodies which can be pictured as formless roots of matter.
In her practice, To reflects on a space within our bodies called the primal vacancy – an ever-present void that fuels this primitive formation. In this space, our body-before-body is involved in the process of creating at a time-before-time, to realise our coming-to-be in a symbolic reality.
Through the use of thinned-down oil paint, together with a thoughtful combination of colour tones, To references our sense-making appetite and its ability to create a synthetic unity between bodies. Her paintings induce introspection and remind us of the moments in which such unity is felt amidst the global crisis we are all experiencing.