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I had a great time strolling around Brooklyn with Josh and David from everythingisfreenow.org a few days ago. It’s been awhile since everythingisfreenow.org left social media platforms. But of course that doesn’t mean they don’t exist. They’ve quietly placed hundreds of paintings on the streets of Brooklyn so far. If you know where to look, you see that their work has become a part of the cityscape. Their work has turned the public space into a place to appreciate and discuss art and life.
The language of art manifests as the language of life. No matter how hard the ruling class tries to digitize everything, financialize everything, commodify everything, colonize everything to mold everything into the imperial framework, life finds ways to build its social fabric on its own terms.
New York has gone through so much: Wave after wave of neoliberal restructuring have been inflicted in the name of fighting crimes, terrorisms, and the virus. The same people who define “crises” have been the ones who benefit from “the solutions”. The social hierarchy is maintained and continues to function as a machine of structural extortion. But life still persists as art on streets, community gardens, cooperative housing projects and etc. Seeing them up close and hearing about them from Josh and David warmed my heart.
Here are some photos from their website:
I am not religious at all in a traditional sense. But being in my studio struggling to make work has taught me that there are incomprehensible mechanisms operating beyond our perceptions. The glimpses of the vastness show up as “uncanny coincidences”, “unexplainable perceptions”, “overwhelming emotions of unknown origins” and so on.
So when I felt an unexplainable familiarity in being in Korea, an overwhelming sense of nostalgia and extreme sadness in leaving the country, I was not too puzzled, but still the sensation was new and palpable. All I can say is that things connect in some unknown ways and I humbly feel it as it is.
This is one of the bigger shows I have had, with 17 art works in a large venue with 2 floors.
The pieces were selected by Jung Lee the director of Gana Art and his curators. The set certainly has a cohesive theme of some sort, but I couldn’t pin point it initially. The director basically said that he thought about the taste of the Korean audience. The pieces filled up the venue like they were made for it. They certainly made selections which are cogent and very effective as a whole.
Having been in Korea looking at its art, new and old, working with people there and breathing the air in Seoul, I came to speculate on an intuitive level that the theme has something to do with some sort of faceless force of nature which grips hearts of the people in the region. And grips hearts of people in surrounding regions just as the Japanese centuries ago were so passionately fascinated by their ceramics in a narrowly defined context of “wabi sabi” sensibility. In reality, though, what I am trying to describe exists in more fundamental and ubiquitous ways, which can manifest in countless ways. It’s the resigned harmony with the unknown vastness, which I also feel as a basis of my studio practice. To me, being in studio is to be a listener, a keen observer, a channeler, who reflects dynamics surrounding us as patterns which resonate with us with visceral significance.
And this somehow relates back to my feeling about being in Seoul—my familiarity and affinity toward it. I am deeply drawn to the land, food and its people without knowing exactly how or why. My attempt in articulating it seems to remain circular as words go around the essence.
In any case, I thank the wonderful people I met there and I look forward to our future collaborations.
Here are some images from the show. Some detail images have been added, which were photographed previously in my studio.
I am having a show at ‘T’Space in Rhinebeck, NY. It’s a beautiful venue surrounded by trees and the fresh air of Hudson, NY. The orchestration of the light and space in the compact venue creates a shrine-like serenity and harmony.
Lori and Joseph from Bookstein Projects have done an excellent job installing my work. The show will be presented at the ’T’Space website along with a poetry reading by Arthur Sze, and a musical performance by String Noise. I thank Susan Wides at ’T’Space for her hard work in putting everything together. We will also have a video production by Jack of Diamond LLC, which includes an interview between myself and Robert C Morgan. Notes on the making process with images from my studio are also presented. Read more about it at ‘T’Space site.
I’m excited and happy that our collaborative efforts have been going very well, and the show will be presented in an online livestream opening August 22, 2020 at 3PM. Register here.
Here are some images from the show.
I curated a painting show titled Three Painters at Duck Creek for the Arts Center at Duck Creek. The show went up on August 8th, 2020. It will be on view through August 30th, 2020.
Last year, there was an exhibition of my own paintings at the barn at Duck Creek. It was challenging, but it was also very rewarding. The warmth of wood, the irregular elements of patched walls and the natural elements of the historic site define this attractive venue. I live seven minutes away from there. I care about the place and I wanted to organize a show that people in the community could truly enjoy.
To me, the process of painting involves honesty, dedication and patience. It allows us tremendous freedom, but it also forces us to work with all elements with fairness, keen observation and a broad view to grasp the wholeness. We become one with the momentums, dynamics and mechanisms within the visual structure, which is built by our dialogues with the visual elements. Our paths become the work. The work therefore is authentic in a way, and it can capture a profound something that can resonate with our soul.
The work of the three painters that I selected for the show somehow share the above quality. They can be complex but they also convey solid cohesiveness. These three artists are versed with their own visual languages and they all speak to us in their own ways: but as they harmonize colors, shapes, lines, and layers, they reveal profoundness that goes beyond the framework that binds us as “civilized” beings, yet often as alienated beings. Their paintings have the power to move us unconditionally if we care to listen.
I thank Duck Creek for giving me an opportunity to organize this show. It has been rewarding on many grounds.
In order to introduce the artists to the Duck Creek audience, I interviewed the three painters. We talked about how they get started, their processes, their philosophy on art, and more.
At the Duck Creek barn, the interviews are available in a booklet format.
Elliott Green (b. 1960 Detroit, Michigan – firstname.lastname@example.org). He attended the University of Michigan, where he studied World literature and Art history. He moved to New York City in 1981 and has been awarded a John Simon Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship, the Jules Guerin Rome Prize at the American Academy in Rome, a Pollock-Krasner Foundation Grant, a Marie Walsh Sharpe Foundation Residency, a The Peter S. Reed Foundation Grant, a residency at the BAU Institute, Cassis, France, a MacDowell Colony Residency, and three residencies at Yaddo.
Eric Banks (b. 1954 Brooklyn, NY – email@example.com) Brooklyn-native, Banks lives and works in Rhinebeck, NY. In 1977, he obtained his B.A. from Queens College of the City University of New York, NY. After receiving his M.F.A. from Maryland Institute College of Art, Hoffberger School of Painting in 1981, Banks was awarded the Pollock-Krasner Foundation Grant, Edward Albee Foundation Grant, and Walters Fellowship. Banks has exhibited nationally; most-recently, his work has been on view at NYC galleries, such as Amos Eno Gallery and Sideshow Gallery.
Sean Sullivan (b. 1975 Bronx, NY – firstname.lastname@example.org) lives and works in the Hudson Valley, NY. He received the NYSCA/NYFA Artist Fellow in Printmaking/Drawing/Book Arts Grant in 2017. He has participated in group exhibitions at the Samuel Dorsky Museum of Art at SUNY New Paltz, NY; the Markus Luttgen Gallery, Cologne, Germany; and the Museum for Drawing, Huningen, Belgium.
Here are images from the show.
Here are some images from the Bookstein Projects show. The show is up till February 15, 2020.Bookstein Projects60 East 66th Street, 3rd Floor, New York, NY 10065Tel (212) email@example.com.................
Here are images of a new piece, #87. After going through many stages for two 1/2 years, it finally presents itself with a cogent presence of its own. The piece will be in a solo show opening on January 9th, 2020 at Bookstein Projects in NYC. The reception is on January 9th, 6-8pm.
#87, 54” x 40” x 11 3/4”, pigmented resin, 2019
I was fortunate to catch the last day of Paul Bowen’s exquisite, yet bold and expansive, wood sculpture show last week. I’ve known Paul since 1995. I was a fellow at The Fine Arts Work Center, where Paul served as visual coordinator. I remember being immediately drawn to his sculptures. He is a generation or two older than I am. As both of us grew up in foreign countries and became sculptors after working with paintings, I feel an affinity to his path as an artist. He generously accepts nature, history and the physicality of found materials in seeing through an essence that conveys what it is to live. The human quality he assembles through his practice shines with the dignity and gracefulness of a survivor. When he came into the building to take down the show, he saw me and broke into a big smile. I was as happy to see him as seeing his fantastic show. We confirmed the passage of time in how we both aged. We laughed together. It always warms my heart to feel connected to someone through art.
My painting show at The Arts Center at Duck Creek will be open until 9pm on the next full moon night, June 17th—rain or shine. Bring your friends and family and watch as the dark blue night transforms the warm glow of the historic barn.
Hot tea and sweets will be served.
11-9pm on Monday, June 17, 2019
Regular hour: 11-6pm, Thursday-Monday and by appointment through June 23rd 2019