Curated by Minji Lee
Artists: Duy Hoàng, Alison Nguyen, Homer Shew, Mark Yang
Opening Reception: Friday, November 22, 2019 | 6:00 - 9:00 pm
November 22 - November 27, 2019
CP Projects Space, 132 West 21st Street, 10th floor, New York, NY
Monday - Friday, 10:00 am - 6:00 pm, weekends by appointment
CP Projects Space at the School of Visual Arts is pleased to present Dear America, curated by MA Curatorial Practice fellow Minji Lee. Dear America is an exhibition that explores and questions social issues such as race, multiple identities, and migration that are deeply embedded in today’s United States. Duy Hoàng, Alison Nguyen, Homer Shew, Mark Yang are four artists who focus on their relationship as Asian-Americans to the turbulent communities in which they find themselves, reflecting each in their own way on how disunited the so-called United States of America truly are.
While growing up in the US, these artists have experienced the country’s many conflicts between cultures and have had to navigate and adapt to the difficulties of cultural difference in their lives and art. These transitional moments have allowed each artist to form critical views of American society that trouble, inspire, and drive their artistic careers. Some of the works refer to personal resistance, while others question how people of color are identified and subsequently segregated, suppressed, and otherwise manipulated and abused within mainstream American society. They note in their work what Americans take for granted and what is unconsciously forgotten and hidden—issues well-known to us of white hegemony in a society shifting from white dominance, of immigration and equity.
As a Vietnamese immigrant, Duy Hoàng (b. 1989, Vietnam) moved to the US during his adolescent years. The transition triggered intense self-examination, while instigating an equally deep exploration of his new environment, the process of migration, and the meaning of settling anew in a foreign place. Through his poetic time-based work that includes decaying objects, Hoàng reflects on the linked life cycles of people and nature. Alison Nguyen (b. 1986, US) interrogates the means and methods of image production, dissemination, and consumption in an American media landscape that simultaneously mythologizes and hollows out the American Dream her father had thought real when he came to the US in the 1960s. Through her video work, you can’t plan a perfect day sometimes it just happens (2019), she meditates on specific visual codes present in the dominant culture’s media. Homer Shew (b. 1990, US) and Mark Yang (b. 1994, South Korea) both address the Asian dislocation and the lack of representation in American culture. Shew’s portrait paintings in a traditional Western style capture Eastern subjects he found in New York City’s Chinatown, as well as others around him in his daily life. Through these works, he pictures their siloed existence within American society. While Shew explores Asian figures through traditional portraiture, Yang utilizes the canvas in bolder compositions filled with color that explores his identity as a minority, first realized in his move from Los Angeles to New York. Through his Wrestlers series, which shows nude Asian men struggling doing wrestling, Yang questions what it means to live in American as a male artist of color, as an immigrant, and as a Korean-American.
Image: Mark Yang, Wrestling on the Beach, 2019