“Identity, Memory, and Displacement”
Curated by Jiawei Zhao
Identity, Memory, and Displacement is a group exhibition of 10 lens-based artists entering the 2nd year of Pratt’s MFA program. Eight of them are international and share the challenge of adapting and adjusting to a different culture while creating work that comments on dislocation:
Bochun Cheng (Taiwan), Songyang Liang (China), Hongyu Pu (China), Xiaotong Wang (China), Sora Woo (South Korea), Liangxiao Zhang (China), Jiawei Zhao (China), and Yuzhe Zhong (China).
Their work in photography and mixed media understandably carries a sense of melancholy and anxiety that not only pertains to their condition of transience but also reflects a turbulent time politically for the culture they’ve entered. Displacement forces certain questions: what remains after relocation, what is the baggage we carry with us, and what do we think of the strange new world we’re suddenly inside of? Away from a familiar context, the question of identity is heightened, and the memory of cultural experience and conditioning becomes material to be examined.
The two Americans in the group are exploring related content. Courtney Dudley’s works consider the dichotomy between transience and groundedness, and the physicalities of painting and photography. Native American artist Cougar Vigil depicts the legacy of tribal experience through reengaging with old photographs of daily life from the reservation, including textual commentary.