Press Release

YBCA Announces Nick Dong: 11 to 88, An Immersive Solo Exhibition

Images: (Left) Nick Dong, Dharma Wheel of Ego & Egoless, 2024. (Center) Lotus of Impermanence, 2023. (Right) Nick Dong, White Conch Shell of Desire, 2023.

San Francisco, CA—(May 8, 2024) – Yerba Buena Center for the Arts is excited to announce Nick Dong: 11 to 88, an immersive solo exhibition by the visionary craftsman, sculptor, and engineer. The Oakland-based artist merges the ethos of Wen-ren—a Chinese intellectual lineage that values the creation of each work as a quest for self-evolution—with 21st century scientific precision. Fascinated by the beauty of the unknowable, Dong creates mesmerizing and expansive works made up of various interactive components, including sound, light, and mirrors. Dong sees his immersive installations as complete only once a viewer enters the space, with the visitor as an essential component of the piece.

Nick Dong: 11 to 88, which will be on view June 6–August 25, is part of an ambitious long-term project to develop 88 interconnected works, which the artist aims to culminate in 2028. The exhibition at YBCA, curated by independent curator Martin Strickland, will include the first 11 works, each of which reflect a piece of this larger process and offer a glimpse of Dong’s fully realized vision. 

“I believe that art should take a leading role in providing the inspiration needed for healing,” said Nick Dong. “Drawing from the auspicious symbols of Buddhism, I plan to craft 88 works and correlate them with 11 stages of human life. The complete body of work will include 88 pieces of experiential sculpture, objects, and installations, created to engage audiences beyond the optical—reflecting a deep and profound journey of creation, spirituality, and calmness.” 

Inspired by these universal themes, Nick Dong: 11 to 88 explores the intersection of spirituality and the tangible world, evident in the interplay of light and sound in Dong’s work. As the objects on display are approached, they will light up, naturally drawing the flow and focus from one work to another. Visitors will also be invited to enter two immersive illuminated rooms.

Among these will be Dharma Wheel of Ego & Egoless, a newly imagined immersive room inspired by the “movement” of the Dharma Wheel—which typically connotes the spreading of Buddhist teachings. In the mirrored room, viewers will encounter countless reflections of themselves. Sitting at the center of the installation, light and sound will activate as 24 movable walls transform the space. Here, Dong offers a space where worldly achievements, fears, pressures, and material wealth vanish, leading to a state of ego-lessness and the experience of true inner peace and freedom.

“We are very excited to invite visitors in to experience Nick Dong’s beautiful and meditative work,” said YBCA interim CEO Jim Rettew. “Dong brings together complex ideas and incredible craftsmanship, and uses them to create immersive experiences that will be accessible to visitors of all ages. In doing so, he encourages viewers to explore new perspectives and find beauty in vulnerability, offering a meaningful and powerful encounter with art.”

Also on view will be Lotus of Impermanence, a sculpture inspired by the surface of water and adorned with over 100,000 mosaic mirror pieces. Up close, it resembles undulating waves, while from a distance, it appears as a calm and unchanging horizontal plane, reflecting the flow and constancy of life. At the center of the piece rests an otherworldly lotus which rotates slowly, seemingly navigating through the unpredictable encounters and changes in life.

Together, the objects on view serve as an invitation into Dong’s artistic practice—emphasizing the transformative power of the experience over any final product. Through this exhibition Dong invites visitors to join his introspective journey and allow themselves to be transformed within this active space.

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About Nick Dong:

Nick Dong 董承濂 (b. 1973, Taiwan; based in Oakland and Taipei) is a multidisciplinary artist whose experiential mixed-media sculptures, wearable objects, and installations combine an advanced knowledge of materials and technique with a gift for elevating an audience’s experience beyond the optical. By seamlessly integrating sophisticated engineering and metalsmithing components, supernatural movements, light, sound, and various interactive or situational strategies, Dong’s practice creates a fully immersive event, only complete once a participant’s encounter is initiated.

Since the early 1990s his work has been shown extensively in galleries in Taiwan and throughout the United States. In 2003, Dong’s work was included in the Cheongju International Craft Biennial in Cheongju City, Korea; in 2008, he was one of twenty metal artists from thirteen countries selected for Artitude 2008 at Kunstbanken Museum in Hamar, Norway. In 2012, Dong was included in 40 Under 40: Craft Futures, at the Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington D.C. In 2016 he exhibited his large-scale mixed-media work Patterns from Heaven and Earth at the Asian Art Museum in San Francisco. His work was the subject of the solo show Specular Reflection at the National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts in 2017. In 2021 his solo exhibition Divine Immersion opened at the USC Pacific Asia Museum in Pasadena, CA, and the same year he participated in the exhibition GLOW in Exploratorium Museum in San Francisco, CA. Dong holds a BFA in Mixed Media and Painting from Tung-Hai University in Taichung, Taiwan and an MFA in Metalsmithing in Jewelry from the University of Oregon.

About YBCA:

Opened to the public in 1993, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts (YBCA) was founded as the cultural anchor of San Francisco’s Yerba Buena Gardens neighborhood. Our work spans the realms of contemporary art, performance, film, civic engagement, and public life. By centering artists as essential to social and cultural movement, YBCA is reimagining the role an arts institution can play in the communities it serves. For more information, visit

YBCA is open Wednesday through Sunday from 11:00am to 5:00pm. Admission is $10 and can be purchased in person or reserved in advance at Admission is free every Wednesday and on the second Sunday of each month.


Abby Margulies
[email protected]

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