Category Archives: collaboration

Young Project Profile: UNTITLEDdialogue

UNTITLED:dialogue is a one-year project organized by Jessie Yang and He Yu.

This duo met at New York Univeristy’s Steinhardt Graduate school for Visual Arts Management. Both originally from China, (Shanghai and Sichuan, respectively,) they had the idea to create a monthly forum for further dialogue that centered around Contemporary Asian Art being created locally, in New York. They have garnered a list of over 250 in their network, and growing. Their events have had between 70-80 people show up, which has increased from about 20 at the first event.

“We hope to create a space where artists and the public could meet and interact in an informal setting, with more possibilites for dialogue.”

He Yu (also known as Echo) says that attendees have loved the atmosphere for these events. The artists like the attention as well. Some of their artists are in temporary residencies in New York and are looking for opportunities to talk about their ideas outside of the immediate circle of the program they are participating in, and to broaden their network. The second artist in their series, Na Yingyu, is a video artist and connected with a documentary film maker at one event and has made plans to collaborate.

UNTITLEDdialogue, a series of cultural talks with Asian related artists, curators, writers, independent film makers, designers, architects and musicians in New York.”

When they came to New York, Jessie and Echo didn’t find a lot of events specific to Asian Art outside of the larger and more traditional institutions such as the Asia Society. Even less so when it came to contemporary art, including among commercial galleries.

By providing an informal setting, they have created a free platform around contemporary Asian work where they invite all kinds of international cultural dialogue to occur. For example, John Ransom Phillips was another one of the artists Ud has worked with, he is American and creates images that contain allusions to Chinese sub-text.

With one exception, so far, Ran Tea House has been hosting the Ud program. The tea house also has programming of their own, which is how Echo originally found them. After a screening of the recently released documentary on the work of artist Ai Weiwei she approached the owner, and because their ideas were so similar, it was a natural fit. They set up a schedule for the events, and it has been a smooth collaborative relationship ever since. The only negative aspect that Echo observed is that she would like to find a way to bring in more revenue for the Tea House, and artists.

Jessie has been contributing customized desserts for each event, including a Japanese theme for the event highlighting one Musician from Kagawa.

“I really enjoy making dessert for UNTITLEDdialogue. And I try to relate the dessert to the theme of the dialogue as much as I can. It just makes everyone happy. I would never have thought that studying visual arts would take me to such a new and unexpected path.”

Jessie has applied to a Pastry Arts program at the French Culinary Institute next March. “Though it seems that I found my true calling in cooking and baking, I still love art. And who says food is not art? It is absolutely a work of art.”

Jessie hopes to continue to find ways of blending visual and culinary art experiences after Ud concludes.

In the future, Echo is interested in organizing gallery tours and in-studio visits rather than a program located in a singular venue. One of their events already has taken place at an artist studio (as opposed to the Ran space). Although the different setting can pose logistical challenges, it has the benefit of combining the artist’s network more easily with the network they have been building.

Echo cited a female Taiwanese author, Chen Mao Ping, as a rare female artist icon whom she admired. The author’s published work can be found under the nickname “Sanmao”, and became popular in Taiwan and mainland China in the late 1970’s. She also became infamous for her alleged suicide in 1991.

When asked to share any words of counsel for practicing artists Echo urged that artists must take the time to look into themselves. Everyone is very creative in the art world and trying to assert themselves. You can be influenced by others so easily that it becomes very important to take the time to be introspective and know your own creative goals, and artistic character.

“On October 21st, we’ll present our sixth event with gifted jazz singer and composer Le Zhang. The event will commence with a Jazz performance, highlighting recomposed Shanghai pop music from 1930s and 1940s. The performance will be followed by a talk about the story of “Shanghai Jazz”, the historical and current Jazz scene in Shanghai, and progressive fusion of Western Jazz culture and Chinese pop music in 1930s.” Read More….

​​Time: Sunday October 21st from 16:00 – 18:00
Location: Ran Space, 269 KENT AVE.
(BTW S1 STR. and S2 STR.), BROOKLYN, NY, 11211

Related Links:
Ud on Facebook

NY & CHI – Done. Fort Wayne – Here we come!

Thanks Robin for being so awesome and hosting the second installment of EX: Collaborative Creation in your ROCKING Chicago apartment a.k.a. “Carousel Space”.

Robin Kang is an incredible artist who has true dedication and vision. Check out her own artwork here. Weather she is building a brick house (or a digital textile) this girl is mighty-mighty. So, check her out!

Robin recently completed her Masters of Fine Art at the Art Institute of Chicago, was a co-fellow of mine in Air Projects‘ pilot in Beijing, and has been running Carousel Space out of her home since January 2011.

EX is now headed to Fort Wayne, IN and will be the virginal exhibition of Wunderkammer Co.‘s new space, to the bliss of founder, Dan Swartz.

Kind of a BIG deal

There are many ubiquitous topics that flutter around the “art-world” consciousness that never seem to land. Every once in a while those ideas can be reinterpreted in a way that just “clicks”. It may feel right because it feels new, or because someone else (who is totally genius) “gets it”! This can be really satisfying if you can successfully put your own spin or perspective on something people were previously interested in or with which they are in some way already familiar.

I gotta tell you, I was feeling pretty good when I realized last month that we (the team behind EXa show inspired by the surrealist movement in the arts) had drawn from the same stream as the Metropolitan Museum of Art, who are currently exhibiting garments and accessories by Elsa Schiaparelli and Miuccia Prada. What an interesting conversation the work of these two women have! And what a wonderful opportunity we had to educate a few New Yorkers on the history of Schiaparelli in advance of the exhibit opening. We wanted to look at the connection between the Surrealists (one of those ideas floating around just above our heads) and how their forms played out in Fashion, and the MET is just being the BOSS, per usual.

If you were unable to attend the conversation about Schiaparelli, IAM has graciously provided video documentation [here] and if you do not live in New York, you may visit the exhibit at the MET’s website [here]. Enjoy.

EX: On the move…

The exhibit “EX: Collaborative Creation” is headed West, to Chicago. Chi-town Artista, Robin Kang, will host the second life of the installation at her Carousel Project. I, for one, am very excited to see her interpretation along with Dan Swartz, who will also be hosting the third personification of the work  in Indiana later this summer.

Day Job: Kickstarter

Many great contributors are on board and ready to produce “Day Job” if we give them the go-ahead. Kickstarter (incase you haven’t checked it out) is a way for idea people of all kinds can pitch their ideas to individuals who will, bit by bit, pledge to fund their program or concept. The trick is, that you need to raise your goal amount or it won’t go through.

“Day Job” is about work, workers, and the jobs that people hold. In it’s preview issue you see some lovely photography and get some inside looks at jobs that we may have over looked, as well as some treasures unveiled in one particular niche business that has been handed down over generations.

Sound interesting? Well, it should! A lot of creative people are behind this, and I would love to see what they would churn out!

Check out more here: http://www.dayjobmag.com/

“Ex”hibit wraps up in NYC

The exhibit “Ex: Collaborative Creation” had a great opening event at IAM‘s 38|39 gallery earlier this month! I had the privilege of curating the New York iteration of the exhibit, and it will now travel to Carrousel Space in Chicago, and Wunderkammer following later this Summer. Upwards of 60 people attended the opening, among them were students, artists, writers, and IAM’s own founding director, Mako Fujimura.

Coinciding with the exhibit, IAM partnered with Wunderkammer and me to create a fun flip book catalogue.

Dan H. Swartz (Wunderkammer) gave a presentation illuminating the history of visual art and Surrealism and it’s contemporary employment and implications.*

Following events included a discussion with Dr. Lucy Collins and Tove Hermanson on the impact of Surrealism in Fashion* (primarily within the designs of Schiaparelli) and a film screening of Cocteau’s Beauty and the Beast.

Coincidentally Cocteau and Schiaparelli were also collaborators, which suited the conversation quite well.

I am excited to see what Robin Kang and Dan H. Swartz will do with this body of work in Chicago and Fort Wayne.

*Videos of the presentations will be available online soon.