Unit London’s virtual exhibition programme offers a space of focussed and concise engagement where artists can interact with a wide range of socio-political issues. Platform is open to all and functions as a universally accessible viewing experience. In keeping with the core social principles of the programme, 10% of all sales proceeds from every Platform exhibition will be donated to a charity nominated by the artist. For his solo exhibition, Youada has nominated the charity, Street Art for Mankind. It is a non-profit organisation with the profound belief that art can generate social change. Supported by over eighty internationally renowned street artists, the organisation curates and produces public murals, interactive exhibitions and live performances across the globe to bring communities together and raise awareness of human rights.
Youada’s artistic practice largely stems from the aesthetics of street art. During his teenage years, he would roam around Huangzhou, soaking in the street art culture of the city and refining his own skills with spray paint. Chinese street art is known particularly for its dynamism; the walls of Huangzhou’s creative districts are covered with vivaciously rendered figures surrounded by flurries of Chinese lettering. Youada’s artwork, while influenced by this culture, has tempered some of its more intense elements. Text is not a key component of his work, but the vibrant and kinetic energy that defines Chinese street art remains central to Youada’s pieces while his meticulous use of the acrylic medium mimics the mist of spray paint.
In China, street art has a powerful history and has become entangled with the expression of anti-establishment beliefs, acting as a vital instrument in criticising stringent systems of power. This history remains important for Youada whose work continues to push the limits of visual representation. Youada’s figures embody a sense of rebelliousness, challenging traditional concepts of society and gender.