A Look at Gwen M.Y. Yip’s ‘Backs’ Series

by Andy SmithPosted on

Gwen M.Y. Yip crafts minimalist paintings that explore both themes of loneliness and the shapes and stark structures of urban environments. Based on her travels through London, New York City, Hong Kong, and Amsterdam, she’s able to show the universality of solitude in these settings. Her subjects wait for trains, walk sidewalks, and carry literal and metaphorical weights on their backs.

“We all carry things on our backs,” the artist has said about the series. “Some shoulder burdens and regrets and others carry dreams and hopes. Some scarcely bear them and others delightedly bring them wherever they go. What do you carry on your back?”


Agora Gallery adds that, “while the use of color and line in Yip’s paintings emphasize an almost abstract sense of form, the people break through that abstraction, foregrounding the solitude that exists in the urban world.” See more of her works below.