Rae-Yen Song, Song Dynasty ○○, 2018 & songdynasty.life, 2020

Rae-Yen Song, Song Dynasty ○○, 2018. Courtesy of the artist.

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Rae-Yen Song expands on a project for the 2018 festival, to add to an ongoing familial collaboration, Song Dynasty. Presented both online and as a poster at a site in the city chosen for its special connection to the artist’s family, the work draws on autobiography and fantasy to speak broadly and politically about foreignness and what it means to belong, or not.

Working across drawing, animation, sculpture, costume and performance, Song continues to evolve a singular and highly distinctive visual vocabulary, which borrows from recognisable ritual and tradition, to generate new and ambiguous myths for our times, that settle and live through virtual, imagined and public spaces.

Visitors to songdynasty.life will stumble on an inscrutable ritual, encountering a small group of costumed figures in the landscape, as they undertake a slow and seemingly eternal, circular procession. Colourful, humorous, yet disconcerting, Song’s figures here occupy the digital realm; but appearing also as a poster in the city, they reinsert themselves into the physical fabric of our lives and bring their unyielding gaze to a multitude of potential public encounters.


This series of responses has been made possible thanks to the support of the Scottish Government’s Festivals Expo Fund and EventScotland, part of VisitScotland’s Events Directorate.

Posters realised with additional support from Jack Arts.

Full selection of artist responses is available here.


Rae-Yen Song (born 1993) lives and works in Glasgow. Song graduated from Glasgow School of Art in 2014 with a BA (Hons) in Sculpture and Environmental Art. Recent exhibitions and residencies include: Talbot Rice Gallery Residents programme, University of Edinburgh (2019-21); Fabric of Society, Glasgow International (postponed to 2021); ✵may-may songuu✵, CFCCA, Manchester (2020); Summer Residency, Hospitalfield, Arbroath (2019); Survey, Jerwood Arts, London (2018) (touring 2019: G39, Cardiff; Bluecoat, Liverpool; BALTIC, Gateshead); Platform, Edinburgh Art Festival (2018); Le Colt est Jeune & Haine, DOC, Paris (2018); and Human Rights Art Festival, JDA Perera Gallery, Colombo (2017). Rae-Yen has also founded Song's House of Fancy and co-founded the collaborative projects Jarsdell Solutions Ltd and YAKA Collective.


30 July – 30 August


Poster Site – Clerk Street Cinema
1/3 Clerk Street,
Edinburgh, EH8 9JH