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A Cross-cultural Impact: A Group Exhibition, “ON THE PAPER”

Updated: Feb 6, 2021

In cooperation with The Pomonan

Dec. 10th. 2020 - Jan. 3rd. 2021

Curator: Yuntong (Momo) Wu

Artists: Sapira Cheuk, Sumi Foley, Chiho Harazaki, TJ Huang, Denise Kramer, Brandon Neher, Lexygius Calip, Lisa Segal, Jusun (Jessie) Seo

The “On the Paper” exhibition was presented by the Progress Gallery in the Pomona Arts Colony. The gallery is consisted by two exhibiting rooms, the East and the West gallery. “On the Paper” took place in both galleries from December 10th 2020 to January 3rd 2021.

On the Paper” is a group exhibition curated by Yuntong (Momo) Wu, and is conceived by eight artists who work in a variety of art forms and come from multiple cultural backgrounds. The encounter of different perspectives and thoughts that are brought together by the mutual element, “paper,” provides an opportunity for audiences to hear, to learn, and to embrace.

From the handmade to the industrial mass-production, the paper, as an essential material involved in human civilization and contributed to the continuity and the creativity of cultures, is integrated in the artworks by the artists who have deeply investigated this material. The participating artists with strong backgrounds in poetry, tape art, conceptual art, videography, and mixed-media, revealed a diverse and dynamic collaboration in this exhibition.

Lisa Segal whose works were at the entrance of the West Gallery is a poet, writer, and an artist. Her works are integrated with varied materials such as maps, digital prints, notebook paper, ledger sheets with words and numbers, which provide a brief view of the space where she creates art and composes poetry. Her writing desk is underneath a skylight where she could observe the birds and crows occasionally. Lisa abstracted the shape of birds or crows, and they became features and symbols in her art.

The paper sculptures, “Basho’s Crow: Skylight Return” and “Basho’s Crow: Flower Street Negotiations,” are inspired by a Japanese poet, Basho Haiku, from the 17th century. Lisa considered these two crows to be Basho’s crows. One of Basho’s poem is titled “A Crow on a Bare Branch, ”

“On a bare branch

A crow has stopped

Autumn dusk.”

Lisa’s paper sculpture is not only representation of the scene depicted in the poetry, but also recreate the metaphorical bird by incorporating contemporary elements, for instance, geometric shapes accented with bright color.

Chiho Harazaki is another artist whose works received many positive feedbacks. During the exhibit, there were a number of visitors amazed by how she cut tiny pieces out of electrical tape. Some visitors spend most of the time on her pieces as if the visual artwork is readable. Chiho shows her patience and staidness of cutting out tape pieces in every one of her piece. The dimensions of “Lion Dogs” are relevantly larger than the other works of her, yet the shapes and lines are as fine as the smallest work. As viewers approaching “Lion Dogs” from a distance and their eyes staying on details, the defined shapes of the lion-dog start to get lose and blur. In contrast, the shapes of tape pieces start getting noticeable. A three-dimension perspective is revealed with the dents, paper textures, and imperceptible thickness of the tape and its shadow on paper, in a two-dimensional art. Experiencing an artwork in person and being in the same space with it is breathtaking, and is quite different than seeing it’s photo. No matter how high the resolution is, the information that photo delivers for an art piece are limited and flat.

Sapira Cheuk is a painter, drawer, and an educator from Hongkong. She currently lives and works in Las Vegas. Her ink drawings were presented upright with wood scrolls that indicates an eastern aesthetics. “Alopex Waning” is a set of drawing inspired by the hair that sticks on shower wall, and it is associated with her personal issue of hair losing. Instead of presenting grotesque pictures, she decided to abstract hair into organic lines and geometric shapes and create graceful and appreciable images. There is a profound connection between the fragility of paper and the mortal corporeality in her work.

Jessie Seo is a printmaker and painter who originally from Seoul, South Korea. She often consolidates her personal experience and her family relationship in art which explores how human perceives the world in various perspectives. One series of the exhibited print-making is titled “House,” which represents the house that Jessie and her family have been lived in. As an immigrant in an unfamiliar country and a new environment, dwelling provides privacy and a comfortable place to rest, relax, and heal. “House” bears specks of memories for Jessie.

Each print of “House” shares the same framework while they differ in color. Three of them were installed right next to each other on the same wall, which contrasts the color and indicates different memories in the house. Artists who interpret personal topics are admirable, because their art reveals the universal humanity through restricted personal representations; they strike a chord with broad audiences who never met the artist.

The print-makings by Denise Kraemer were presented next to Jessie’s work in the East Gallery considering their similar color palette. Denise is an established local artist whose work has been showcased at Sasse Museum of Art, Studio C Gallery, Roswell Space Gallery, etc. She and her art have been contributing significantly to the art community in cities like Pomona, Upland, and Riverside. The vibrant energy of ensuous and expressive images in her work could almost get through the frames and reach out to the audience. Threads, fabric, and other materials she utilized indicate the femininity of her art. One of her printmaking, “Blooming,” manifests a crown-like flower breaking through the inner frame-borders, that conveys a strength inside a vulnerable flower and the marvelous energy of nature. The reiteration of the shape of flower and girl in Denise’ works shows her interpretation to nature and humanity.

Sumi Foley is a friend of the Progress Gallery for years. She have had a few exhibitions in the gallery, as well as a number of other galleries in Pomona. Sumi’s drawing incorporated with traditional Japanese ink technique and fabric sewing. A interesting fact of viewing her work is to see through layers of translucent fabric and rice paper. Her series of drawing was displayed in the West Gallery underneath the skylight where nature light creates soft shadow between the layers on the work. The fox character she created is inspired by a Japanese fairy tell that her grandmother told her. Sumi spent a period of time with her grandma when she was a child; her grandma loved to tell stories for her. Grandma also gave her Kimono fabrics and taught her sewing and stitching. The narratives in her drawing manifest playful scenes of foxes, that not only recall the memories belongs to Sumi, but also arouse the childlike innocence inside of everyone.

TJ Huang grew up in a coastal town in Southern China. His work often conveys a dreamlike atmosphere. His remarkable drawing skill helps him to accomplish fantasy and complex scenes, such as “Playground,” one of his series of drawing.

The exhibited series of work indicated his new exploration on pictorial representation incorporated with comic grids. Each grid of independent element is composed and turns into a complete story. TJ draws inspirations from daily life and everyday objects that reflects societal issues and cultural themes. In the surreal atmosphere, the ordinary objects are re-learnt and re-recognized by viewers.

The artists in the “On the Paper” exhibition records diverse emotions and awareness. The interpretations of the world are from different perspectives. While the inner-connections of us indicates a notion of wholeness. The exhibition is expected to reveal humanities in art, and to present a wide range of voices through the daily and common object, paper.

Exhibition Photos:

Meet the Artists:

Virtual Tour Video:

Art Talk with the Sasse Museum of Art:

Presented by The Progress Gallery

In cooperation with The Pomonan

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