September 21, 2013 through October 26, 2013
Curated by Hyejung Jang
Although globalization and nomadism are not new themes in contemporary art, there is an intriguing new tendency for current artists who purposely put themselves in a strange environment to pursue their artistic practices. In recent decades, most of immigrant or international artists have usually explored issues of ambiguous identity, a lacking sense of belonging and/or a notion of nostalgia in their practice. However, in more recent years, more artists put themselves into strange places by their own free will, and actively and creatively try to connect themselves to society through their art. From the artists’ points of view, their consideration for connection is naturally tied to a consideration for where they live and who they meet. As examples of the scope of artwork created in this realm, artists are going out and creating projects in the public, inviting the public to their private space, asking audiences to be in collaboration, and may or may not include participatory elements.
Strangers represents four emerging international artists – Cindy Cheng, Tamar Ettun, Kwantaeck Park, and Ting-Ting Cheng – who have the shared experience of transplanting themselves in foreign countries to study and pursue their art practices. The artists are working in a variety of media including photography, sculpture, multi-media, performance, and installation. The diversity of media allows each artist to creatively find their own place in a new environment, while making connections with one another. By adapting a participatory component, either in the producing process or the final work, the artists invite the public to complete their work at various levels. Using familiar materials including string, hardboard and found objects, C. Cheng produces a site-specific installation with objects and drawings that she found or created in her daily life. She often collects the objects from her friends and neighbors and continuously reinvents the relationships between her drawings, the objects, herself, and the viewer. Ettun engages the public through performance and/or performance-based installation. Her work explores the environment where she lives and suggests a creative perspective of it to viewers. Park’s work stimulates our curiosities and critical thoughts about society, sharing his curiosities and feelings in the new city with people through poetic and participatory language. T. Cheng often uses dialogue as the medium and finds participants for her work through public platforms such as Twitter and community boards. Her work centers on the themes of language barriers, alienation, and human relationship.
Cindy Cheng was born in Hong Kong and is currently living and working in Baltimore, MD. Her work is based in the practice of drawing and explores the relationship between drawing, objects and installation, investigating its implicit narrative potential. Cheng graduated with an MFA from the Mount Royal School of Art at Maryland Institute College of Art in 2011. Her work was included in this year’s Sondheim Semi-final Group Exhibition and will be featured at Flashpoint DC in 2014.
Tamar Ettun is a Brooklyn based multimedia artist from Jerusalem, Israel. Ettun’s solo exhibition and performances include: The Lion Who Liked Strawberries, PS3 Studio, The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas commissioned by Art Production Fund, One Thing Leads To Another, Indianapolis Museum of Art, and Performa 11 presented by RECESS (2011), One Thing Leads To Another: Part 2, Andrea Meislin Gallery (2012) Empty Is Also, Performa 09 presented by the X-Initiative. Group exhibitions and performances include: Socrates Sculpture Park (2013, 2012), apexart (2012) Contemporary Jewish Museum SF (2012), Herzelia Biennial ARTTLV (2011), RH Gallery (2011, 2012), The Queens Museum (2010), Center of Contemporary Art Tel Aviv (2009), The Jewish Museum NYC (2009), among others. Ettun has been honored by several organizations including Abron’s Art Center, The Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, Art Production Fund, Socrates Sculpture Park, America Israel Cultural Foundation, The World Performance Project, Artis, Yale School of Art, RECESS, and Triangle Workshop Residency. Selected publications include: The New York Times, New York Magazine, The Observer GalleristNY, Artforum video, Time Out NYC. Ettun received her MFA from Yale University in 2010, where she was awarded the Alice English Kimball Fellowship. Ettun studied at Cooper Union in 2007, while earning her BFA from Bezalel Academy, where she graduated with honors.
Kwantaeck Park lives and works in New York. His work has been shown in the US and Korea at venues including Chelsea Art Museum, New York; Dumbo Art Festival, Brooklyn; Nurture Art, Brooklyn; The Invisible Dog, Brooklyn; Bronx Art Space, Bronx; Electronic Gallery, Maryland; Cais gallery, Seoul; Gallery Light Box, Seoul. He was awarded a residency at the Philadelphia Art Hotel and Kimmel Harding Nelson Center for the Arts. He will be awarded residencies at Yaddo in Fall 2013 and The Arctic Circle Expeditionary residency in Fall 2014. Park’s work was included in Korean national art textbook in 2012 and was reviewed in The Daily Times by Ursula Ehrhardt. He received a MFA from School of Visual Arts in New York in 2013 and a BFA from Seoul National University in 2008.
Ting-Ting Cheng was born in Taiwan, and graduated from MA Photographic Studies at University of Westminster, London. She applies images and texts in her works to explore the concept of the other socially, culturally and politically. Her works has been exhibited internationally, including solo shows at Taipei Fine Art Museum, Galerie Grand Siecle (Taiwan), Identity Gallery (Hong Kong), Addaya Centre d´Art Contemporani (Spain), SACMA (Spain), Rowan Arts (London) and Before Exhibition Gallery (Hungary). Cheng is also the winner of Signature Photography Award (2009, London) and shortlisted for Taipei Art Award in 2011. She is currently studying at MFA Fine Art at Goldsmiths, University of London.