yng-ru chen, founder
Praise Shadows Art Partners brings together experiences and contacts from Yng's nearly 20-year career that encompasses the arts, start-up entrepreneurship, marketing and communications.
During her time at Tattly, the innovative brand that licenses art from artists, she created partnerships with the Obama White House, Art Basel, Christie's, and many museums. She also developed official licensing programs with the National Gallery of Art in D.C., Vogue / Conde Nast, the Guerrilla Girls, Sesame Street, among others. She has held positions at MoMA P.S.1 as the Press Director, Sotheby's as a Chinese art specialist, and was on the Asia Society's press and marketing team during its 2001 reopening. She serves on the board of the International Curatorial and Studio Program (ISCP). Yng is an alumnus of Williams College, Duke University, and Columbia University. She is married to the journalist Devin Gordon and lives in New York City with her family.
Photo by Stephanie Diani
about the name
Our name is inspired by the 1933 essay by Junichiro Tanizaki, In Praise of Shadows. A short 59-page meditation on aesthetics and the traditional way of life in Japan, Yng read the English translation while studying art history at Williams College. It would come up at various points in her career. Nicolas Chow, Chairman of Sotheby's Asia and a former colleague, shared a mutual adoration of the text. Good friends and artists received copies from Yng on important birthdays. Artist Yuri Shimojo's pivotal solo exhibition in 2013 took place at the Honen-in Temple in Kyoto, Tanizaki's final resting place.
When it came time to launch this company, with its focus on creating partnerships for artists beyond what the world has seen and already knows, this excerpt from the book stood out:
We find beauty not in the thing itself but in the patterns of shadows, the light and the darkness, that one thing against another creates… Were it not for shadows, there would be no beauty.
The light and the shadow, the negative and the positive space, the fine art and the commercial practice. Our mission brings forth an openness to realizing all of these moments in an artist's career.
To learn more about Tanizaki and In Praise of Shadows, we recommend this excellent synopsis by Brain Pickings.