Visual Artist Ruby Leyi Yang on the Influence of Greek Mythology in Her Art

Ruby Leyi Yang Greek Mythology's Influence on Her Art
Photo Courtesy: Ruby Leyi Yang

By: Marina Smith

In the sprawling city of Los Angeles, a new voice emerges from the canvas of contemporary art, challenging the traditional narratives and pushing the boundaries of interpretation. Ruby Leyi Yang, a visionary artist with an unparalleled depth to her work, presented her first solo exhibition titled “Narcissist Echo” at Yiwei Gallery in Los Angeles. The exhibition serves as a bridge between ancient lore and modern discourse, weaving together the intricate tales of Greek mythology with the philosophical musings of Friedrich Nietzsche.

Yang’s exploration into the myth of “Metamorphosis,” focusing on the tragic figures of Echo and Narcissus, provides a fresh lens through which we can examine the timeless concept of love. Echo, cursed to repeat only the last three words spoken to her for aiding Zeus in his mischief, and Narcissus, whose vanity led him to drown while admiring his reflection in a pond, are masterfully reimagined in Yang’s art. Through this narrative dichotomy, Yang sheds light on love’s often tumultuous nature.

The exhibition is not merely a retelling of ancient myths but an invitation to engage with Nietzsche’s idea that “there are no facts, only interpretations.” This philosophy resonates through Yang’s work as she adopts perspectivism—an artistic form of nihilism that denies absolute truths in favor of personal interpretation. In doing so, Yang challenges viewers to confront their beliefs about love and truth in an era dominated by ‘alternative facts.’

Yang’s medium is as varied as her message; integrating paint, glass, fragmented text, and printed materials into her pieces. This eclectic approach creates a complex matrix that invites viewers to find their own meaning within the abstracted love stories she presents. Each piece becomes a mirror reflecting individual experiences and emotions back at the observer—empty or full, inspirational or mundane.

“I wanted to spark a discussion about the nature of love and explore the extent to which romance has become a self-perpetuating action,” said Yang. Her work does precisely that by offering not just visual beauty but intellectual engagement. The stories of Echo and Narcissus serve as cautionary tales about unrequited love and self-obsession but also open up broader discussions about how we perceive ourselves and others in relationships.

The influence of Greek mythology on Yang’s art is undeniable. Yet, it’s her ability to blend these ancient narratives with Nietzschean philosophy that sets her apart. By challenging viewers to question their perceptions and assumptions about love and truth, Yang elevates her art beyond aesthetic appeal into something profoundly thought-provoking.

Yang’s journey into art was marked by an incessant quest for understanding human connections through various cultural lenses—be it mythological or philosophical. Her exhibition “Narcissist Echo” exemplifies this pursuit by not only highlighting human flaws but also celebrating our capacity for introspection and reinterpretation.

Visitors to Yiwei Gallery are invited not just to view Yang’s artwork but to interact with it—to see themselves reflected in Echo’s longing or Narcissus’ vanity—and perhaps leave with a deeper understanding of their own relationships with love.

Ruby Leyi Yang’s bold step into solo exhibitions has indeed made waves across Los Angeles’ vibrant art scene. With “Narcissist Echo,” she establishes herself not only as an artist but as a storyteller whose tales transcend time and place. It’s clear that for Yang, art is more than expression; it’s an inquiry into the essence of being human.

“Narcissist Echo” stands as testament not only to Ruby Leyi Yang’s incredible talent as an artist but also to her profound insight into human emotion and psychology. It invites us all on a reflective journey—one where Greek myths meet modern dilemmas under the careful curatorship of one extraordinary artist.

Check out Ruby Leyi Yang’s artwork at

Published by: Martin De Juan


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