This story was initially published in What’s Up Miami blog.
The American Pavilion Shanghai Art Fair 2011 is proud to present a curatorial juried exhibition entitled: 10 Artists – 10 Spaces.
Participating artists are Lorna Marsh, Karl Kueffel, Scott Ashley, Yuri Tuma, Grace Wawa Yang, OLEK, Blue McRight, Sergio Garcia, Yovani Bauta and Luy Ken.
“American contemporary art is as diverse as American artists. They come from all around the globe in search of individual identity and the freedom for self-expression,” said Inez Suen, Curator for this international exhibition at Shanghai Mart.
Suen, who currently resides in China is the Director of the International Chinese Fine Arts Council.
“In this special curated project we strive to find American artists with his or her own unique styles; they have the need to communicate their individualism and diversity though experimentation and exploration originating from vastly different ethnic backgrounds,” said Suen.
Although the majority of the artists exhibited in 10 Artists- 10 Spaces are born in countries other than the U.S., they are all fundamentally American having established their place of residence or work from coast to coast.
From Miami, Cuban-American artists, Yovani Bauta and Sergio Garcia will be showing aspects of the urban American landscape.
Bauta will be showcasing the thematic complexities of gender, youth, old age and life on the streets of Miami. His main focus is about the indignities of homelessness.
“Bringing my work to the Far East is a challenge to my daily work for obvious reasons; it would be very interesting to see how my fellow artists in China reflect on the same social issues or topics I confront, and to see how they absorb and react to my Occidental vision about them,” said Bauta.
On the other hand, Sergio Garcia raises the question about the “chaotic structure or the structured chaos of life.”
In his series, “Landscape with Figures“, the narrative component has been suppressed, and thus the structure strengthens itself as images find themselves.
His interpretation of figures from Miami within the context of landscapes is seen through Garcia’s eyes with symbols which transcend themselves becoming a vehicle for analysis of self-reflection.
“This body of work brings into focus my persistence upon a figurative presence; my work comes to life neither to be self-satisfactory, nor to play a role in the world of the arts, I simply plunge into the unknown,” said Garcia.
German artist, Karl Kueffel whose works are part of the German Historical Museum in Berlin and who works and lives between South Florida and Northern Hessen, Germany will exhibit mixed media paintings reflecting on the Shanghai architectural Contemporary landscape including constructions from the 2010 Shanghai Expo.
Chicago-based Lorna Marsh, an abstract expressionist from South Africa will bring a strong and enigmatic narrative to Shanghai showing drawings and works on paper.
Much of Marsh’s work comments on the human condition, and often uses interactions with wild animals to amplify the message. In her new surrealist paintings, Marsh has featured the butterfly to adorn and, in some ways, mask the human appearance.
“The butterfly, was often used by Dali and also by Miro as a particularly powerful artistic symbol, carrying an instant emotional message,” said Marsh.
Another Chicago-based artist to participate in these individual spaces is Scott Ashley, exhibiting drawings and works on paper. Ashley works with a capacity of enjoying art having the experience of surprise as a constant during his moments of creation.
In Ashley’s “Evolution” a young man takes joy in the domination of his and our distant past.
“I enjoy the experience of joy created by seeing something that I have never seen before and I try to create that experience for others in my work; I feel that this experience with art reflects the absurdity of our human experience with life, death and love,” said Ashley.
OLEK, a New York-based celebrated artist who is currently exhibiting a solo show at the Jonathan LeVine Gallery in New York, will be exhibiting her crocheted works in 10 Artists – 10 Spaces.
Living and working in New York City, OLEK has the possibility to work and exhibit her works in various neighborhoods and communities creating a feedback to the economic and social realities that exist within them.
“My art was a development that took me away from industrial, close-minded Silesia, Poland. It has always sought to bring color and life, energy, and surprise to the living space,” said OLEK.
Kalin Luy Ken will be exhibiting sculptures such as “Dreams of Liberty” a hand-build stoneware and other sculptures such as “Stress,” “La Ola,” and “The Peace of the Warrior.”
“My work has the necessary intent to begin a vital and deep dialogue with the observer and generate knowledge embodied in the corporeal, which is basically endowed with essence and aesthetics,” said Luy Ken.
“I reveal the texture of emotions, pleasures, suffering, responding to distress and the sense of the modern world; since my roots are from China, I am very pleased to combine Asia and America in this exhibition,” added Luy Ken.
Samuel Freeman Gallery, a long-standing gallery space from Santa Monica, which is soon moving to Culver City, will be exhibiting Los Angeles-based artist Blue McRight.
In her works, McRight investigates our physical and psychological positioning in built and natural environments by focusing on suburbia in a series of small scale oil paintings, each on six by nine inch sheet of sketchbook paper.
In her intimately painted dioramas of Americana, McRight lays bare our national fascination with the well-kept front yard of the American suburb.
“American suburb is synonymous with the lawn, it is the moat around, in front of, and behind each house, delineating property lines and domestic sovereignties. The suburb is neither city nor country, and the lawn is neither public nor private,” said McRight.
Despite what appears on television, most people cannot really afford the green grass of the American dream,” said McRight.
Grace Wawa Yang will exhibit her works inspired by her memories and dreams contrasted with the notion of collective consciousness.
Using digital photography and mixed media sculpture, Wawa Yang utilizes absolute visions of childhood and then distorts them with suggestions of pain and mortality.
“Childhood play is an activity associated with freedom and fun, it is also a process of indoctrination through which children learn about rules and boundaries,” said Wawa Yang.
Yang questions the state of freewill in childhood. “It’s a state we can never be sure we fully remember in adulthood.”
Artist Yuri Tuma, makes sure that viewers of his work first understand what it means to him the word confusion.
“I see confusion as the amount of time our minds spend on being undecided between infinite choices in a moment in which something unknown is presented,” said Tuma in a statement.
For the past 4 years, Tuma has been exploring shapes and textures through photography utilizing a mirror image technique.
“Most of my work is derived from that inspiration and desire to study the transitory moment of uncertainty that happens in our minds,” said Tuma.
Tuma is very pleased to exhibit and travel to China. “This trip will ultimately not only enhance my inner being but my artist’s vision of an expanding world in which my mind lives in,” he added.