Vision and Voice:
Reflections of Immigrant Artists in California
Opening Reception: Friday, September 1, 2017 6pm-9pm
Closing Reception: Friday, October 6, 2017 6pm-9pm
Exhibition Dates: September 1 - October 15, 2017
Gallery Hours: Thursdays 3pm-7pm, Saturdays 11am-3pm, or by appointment
When he was a young man Vladimir Nabokov left behind his country, his ancestral home, his friends and the upper class life of a noble family; forced into exile after the assassination of his father by the Bolsheviks. He came to America, became a citizen and started again from nothing. As so many do. Here he wrote his best novels and rose to prominence as one of the 20th century's greatest writers. Had his father lived, had Vladimir stayed in Russia on his family’s estate and never experienced heartbreak or exile as a commoner in America, he may not have produced some of the best novels of the 20th century.
Each of the six artists in this exhibition has forged a way from distant (or not so distant) lands. Coming from happy homes or homes fraught with turmoil, to escape hardship or to explore a place unfamiliar, they came to embrace connections in a “far away” life. Like Nabakov the work of each of these artists has taken shape in the forge of his or her unique immigrant experience.
Pantea Karimi (born in Shiraz, Iran, lives in San Jose)
Pantea’s work explores her obsession with early scientific manuscripts of the Persian, Arab and European traditions. Her four scrolls, each one driven by information collected and
compiled by the finest minds of the era, utilizes the words and images of an array of thriving intellectual communities to investigate the deeply interconnected nature of human knowledge and celebrate the curiosity that unites our species.
Takeshi Moro (born in Fukaya, Japan, lives in San Francisco)
The video Fakhrulddin and Timo, provides insight into the internal and external lives of two men living in Finland (one a refugee from Iraq and the other a member of the local government). While seated at each other’s kitchen tables, each man responds to a series of biographical questions directed to (and prompted by) his counterpart. The similarities of each experience overshadow the incredible differences in their respective pasts.
Jung Ran Bae (born in Seoul, South Korea, lives in Berkeley)
The sculpture Life Boat explores the crossing of a sea in both the literal and figurative senses.
A delicate wooden boat mounted on an unmoving wave contains two pulsing latex hearts, representing Ran and her son. The juxtaposition of static and dynamic elements is symbolic of the all-too-human desire to push against the confinement of our own history and reach out toward a more independent existence.
Anna Larina (born in Moscow, Russia, lives in North Hollywood)
Anna’s intimate color photographs of her former Moscow home are filled with longing. The lace curtains, floral wallpaper, bookshelves and trinkets all serve as evidence of time spent and lives lived, and their haunting images hold vigil for a memory steeped in desire yet tainted with the bitter reality of displacement.
Xiaoxe Xie (born in Guangdong Province, China, lives in Palo Alto)
Xiaoxe’s beautifully detailed large-scale paintings explore the dissemination in Chinese and American culture focusing on print media. In August 8, 2006, N.Y.T. Xiaoxe renders the cover page of the newspaper, with text bleeding through, relating fragments of information that the viewer then assembles like a puzzle.
Guillermo Galindo (born in Mexico City, Mexico, lives in Oakland) Guillermo synthesizes cultures, creates short circuits that enable a new language of sound, image and sculpture that ignite a sense of humor. His piece, “Ojo”/ “Eye” or “Watch Out” is a bicycle wheel collected from the border which acts as an antenna for a Theremin (an electronic musical instrument controlled without physical contact). The haunting sound emitted by the Theremin coupled with the squeaky tire, create a harmony for the immigrant experience.
Genevieve Hastings has interviewed each artist and recorded stories and insights into their lives and experiences. An audio station for visitors is set up to hear their related stories in conversation with the curator. These conversations are about their experiences in life, their relationship to their work and families and their lives as artists.
This exhibition will travel to Chandra Cerrito Contemporary in December. Please visit the website for more information.