Featuring: Katayoun Amjadi, Fatima Zahra Elfilali, Nina Ghanbarzadeh, Wing Young Huie, Yevgenia Kaganovich, Mika Negishi Laidlaw, Nirmal Raja, Xavier Tavera, Rina Yoon
Exhibition Run: September 10 - October 22, 2016.
Opening Reception: Saturday, September 10, 6-8pm
All artists use their work as a form of communication, a language, and a way of reckoning with the world around them. Transplant Eyes features a group of diaspora artists currently living in the United States who use their expressions of identity as a means of engagement. Through a range of mediums and styles, these transnational artists explore what it means to be both an individual and an artist in a cross-cultural space. Their collective work is a contemplation of identity in various forms as it is formed, gained, lost, and reformed. With a sophisticated and multilayered approach, these artists participate in a critical exploration of controversial social issues.
Drawing inspiration from a personal ‘melting pot,’ the artists in this exhibit firmly occupy liminal spaces where notions of here and there, self and other, past and present are in constant flux. They interweave representations of local culture with symbols from their past to create psychologically intricate works of art that have aesthetic agency and thematically comment on their social surroundings. Of course in this moment of dizzying globalization and worldwide turmoil, the experience of culture shock and disorientation from a continual shifting of values is no longer uniquely reserved for immigrants or artists. This now universal struggle to grapple with our expanding identities as global citizens under a new world order is reflected in the constantly evolving work of diaspora artists.
Transplant Eyes foregrounds new perspectives for this unfamiliar landscape in order to break stereotypes or perceptions for all audiences. Bringing together artists from around the world, this exhibit seeks to provoke an intercultural dialogue through a presentation of artistic stories of adaptation forging a new consciousness that is both universal and humane.
The title, Transplant Eyes, speaks to the newness –fresh eyes, new perspectives, an opportunity to grow as an individual; and it also speaks to the daily resistances (such as language barriers) and potential for non-acceptance by the host culture (such as racism and denial of citizenship.)
Curated by Katayoun Amjadi and John Schuerman
Saturday, October 15, 2016, 6:00 to 7:30pm: Live performance by Pedram Baldari and Nooshin Hakim