We Are Here: Contemporary Art and Asian Voices in Los Angeles
March 13 – June 14, 2020
About the Exhibition / We Are Here: Contemporary Art and Asian Voices in Los Angeles brings attention to the dynamic voices in our diverse metropolis that extend viewers’ knowledge and understanding of the Asia Pacific region. The exhibition highlights seven female contemporary artists of diverse Asian Pacific heritages living and working in Los Angeles. These artists engage with and draw from their lives and family histories to create compelling works of art that invite visitors to think about their own experiences and heritage. Interwoven in their works are personal and universal narratives that give voice to the plural community we call home. This show seeks to inspire visitors to discover connections across boundaries and see that Asian art is expansive and complicated.
Exhibited Artworks / We Are Here: Contemporary Art and Asian Voices in Los Angeles places the art and voices of the exhibited artists as the central themes leading the visitor through the galleries. Organization of the exhibition will be by artist, with their words accompanying their images. A variety of media will be represented in the exhibition, including painting, photography, and video. Artists’ videos will be projected onto walls in the gallery space. Throughout the galleries, small screens will present short mini documentaries about each artist and will be produced by the USC Pacific Asia Museum.
Exhibition Artists / Each of the exhibited artists is actively engaged with developing artworks that address complex themes in a variety of media:
Estrada is an artist with a happily schizophrenic practice. She uses performance and object-making to examine the unstable nature of identity and the fragility of the body. Estrada often collaborates with other artists to create performance events that investigate cultural and gendered meaning in contemporary society.
Huynh draws from her heritage of survival and migration as a refugee from the Vietnam War. Her paintings investigate the shifting notions of cultural identity in an American setting. The work she is producing for We Are Here examines the experience of Cambodian and Vietnamese refugees in Southern California.
Le uses her work as a way to explore her family’s history within the larger context of war. She excavates her lineage by revisiting her family’s experiences. Using archived family photos and stories, Le’s works are layers of images, building upon each other, often touching on emigration, history, family, and memory.
Lee looks to the past and across distances to investigate what constitutes individual or collective identity in an increasingly diasporic, culturally alienated and fractured world. Her video and mixed media work reveals hidden narratives and patterns embedded in identity, gender expectations, community, family and culture.
Mansour grew up surrounded by nature and continues to look to the natural world in her paintings. She tinkers with materials and images to create compositions and surfaces that are both sensuous and irreverent, personal and universal.
Mei Xian Qiu
Qiu draws from her personal history to reconstruct the unknown, fantastical notions of culture, self-invented and revelatory and iconic. This type of flexible self-view and easy piercings of notions of the impermeable interior self, are in keeping with the new contemporary landscape of commonplace transience and a growing global monoculture.
Xie utilizes performance, video, and installation to explore her identity and place in the world as an expatriate Chinese citizen. She investigates sculptural forms and movements within global communities to reconsider and re-envision shared spaces and performative practices.
Oscar Oiwa: Dreams of a Sleeping World
January 10, 2020 – April 26, 2020
About the Exhibition / The immersive art of Oscar Oiwa: Dreams of a Sleeping World asks visitors a poignant question indicative of this historical moment: What do we do when we are paralyzed by the chaos of our times? Oiwa is concerned that when the noise of our everyday world impedes our radiant minds, we shut down. In this gravitational pull of “sleep” we look to our dreams to reset, searching our subconscious for nourishment and hoping for wisdom to better face the dysfunction of our world. To that end, Oiwa invites visitors to enter his 360° dreamscape to transform the clenched fist of our hearts into open hands. Scheduled to debut at the USC Pacific Asia Museum on January 10, 2020, this exhibition features an installation of a new immersive space, created specific for USC PAM, and large-scale artworks for which Oiwa is renown.
Immersive Dreamscape Dome and Exhibited Artworks / The public will be invited to enter into and become part of this new Oiwa Dreamscape. Installed at the USC Pacific Asia Museum, the inflatable artwork requires 2 weeks of work and 120 sharpie markers, as Oiwa draws alongside his artisan assistant and four MFA students from USC. Complimenting this immersive experience is a dynamic installation of Oiwa’s large scale paintings shedding light on his surrealist and imaginative dreamscapes.
Bio / Oscar Oiwa is a Japanese artist born in 1965 in São Paulo, Brazil. Now an American citizen, Oiwa lives and works in New York City. Oiwa graduated from the School of Architecture and Urbanism in São Paulo in 1989 and was influenced by comics and illustration from an early age. He is known for his giant canvases and large frescoes. Oiwa has exhibited internationally and his work is included in renowned private and public collections. Important solo exhibitions since 1990 include the National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo; the Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo; the Mori Museum of Art, Tokyo; Museu Nacional de Belas Artes, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; Arizona State University Art Museum, Tempe, AZ and the House of Culture of Japan in Paris. His work has been included in group exhibitions at 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa, Japan; Busan Museum of Art, Busan, South Korea; Hiroshima City Museum of Contemporary Art, Hiroshima, Japan; Hyōgo Prefectural Museum of Art, Hyogo, Japan; Japanese American National Museum, Los Angeles, CA; Kunsthalle, Düsseldorf, Germany; Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo, Japan; Museum of Modern Art, Gunma, Japan; Mystetskyi Arsenal National Art and Culture Museum Complex, Kiev, Ukraine; Phoenix Museum of Art, Phoenix, AZ; Shoto Museum of Art, Tokyo, Japan; Takamatsu Art Museum, Takamatsu, Japan; Tokyo National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo, Japan; Tufts University Art Gallery, Medford, MA; and WhiteBox, New York, NY. Oiwa received a Pollock-Krasner Foundation Grant in 1997 and a John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship in 2001.