2018 Create Change Fellow | 2020 Creative Action Fund Awardee | 2021 Creative Action Fund Awardee
Ridgewood |Multidisciplinary Performer
Yidan Zeng is an intimist investigator. She uses the materials of glass, fabric, conversations, touch, and performance to understand the ways we live and love.Please tell us about a place in your neighborhood that is personally meaningful to you, and why?
What place in your neighborhood is personally meaningful to you and why?
I really love the open-air food court‚ right when you get off the Myrtle-Wyckoff station on the L line. Because it’s protected from cars, people can just hang around the entire square: eating tacos from food trucks, reading newspapers, listening to music from speakers someone has brought, and people watching (that’s me). It’s always a bustle of activity, and I love that a space like this has been provided for the community to be able to eat, rest, and convene.
What is your favorite book, film or song about NYC?
While “New York, New York” by Frank Sinatra isn’t the most original, I love that song because of how I first came to hear it. It was the second semester of my freshman year at RISD, and for one of our projects, we had to construct a headpiece that cantilevered at least 18 inches out or high. One of my good friends, Tyler Mills, decided to create a personal stage. At the critique, he flung open the red curtains around him and belted out the opening lines to “New York, New York,” then tap-danced and shined a hand-held flashlight throughout the song. He finished with a flourish on one of our work tables, and I’ve never forgotten that song since.
2021 Creative Action Fund | Finding Ourselves Together
What if we connected through the natureverse instead of the Internet? Finding Ourselves Together practices intimacy with one another across distance through nature, drawing upon the sensory and the spiritual. Interdisciplinary artists Yidan Zeng and Yo-Yo Lin share embodied states across time and space — co-writing movement scores with nature as their mutual dance partner. The two will record their relationship in a zine consisting of video/audio meditations, written scores, pressed flowers and more, offering pathways to deepening the relationships we create with nonhuman living beings, with ourselves, and with our ancestors.