Old Ghost New Light

November 16, 2023 – January 13, 2024

Opening Reception: Thursday, November 16th, 6-8pm

Dinner Gallery is proud to present Old Ghost New Light, a group exhibition curated by Ye Qin Zhu. The exhibition will be on view from November 16th through January 13th with an opening reception on Thursday, November 16th from 6-8pm.

I felt an old ghost revisit and saw the pathways it traveled. I saw how it once possessed me, triggering deep-seeded patterns that moved me. Only this time I welcomed it, watching it move through me. I know if the ghost had escaped my awareness, this energy will continue to revisit, travel these same pathways and repeat the patterns.

The artists in Old Ghost New Light address social and personal wounds by revisiting and reframing the vast dimensions of their hauntings which echoes and becomes their art-making process. Perhaps the purpose is to find and satisfy the sources of their unshapely and deeply felt tendencies. Or, it could be a compulsion, like scratching a psoriasis born of stress on the flesh. Not that scratching would make it feel better, but it does, offering a curious and immediate relief. It could be that revisiting fuels a kind of hopefulness—maybe this time it will be different; if made right in this way, something might be released.

When events make an impression in our lives or in culture, where does this energy travel to? Does it transform, hibernate, or carve out pathways? Injuries never simply fall into the past, they fall into a reservoir of experiences, altering an invisible landscape. Like anthills or mushrooms, their byproducts are directly connected to vast underground tunnels. The artworks in this exhibition represent the impact resurfacing. They are material conduits to the flow of energy happening in the body. These artists purposefully transform the hauntings that come into their senses by creating new pathways and new lights of revelation.

About Esteban Cabeza de Baca
Esteban Cabeza de Baca (b. 1985, San Ysidro, CA) born on the US Mexico border, employs hybrid techniques and influences forming a complex braid: interrogating the dialectical relationships between colonialism and its critique, between cultural extraction and its inversion. Cabeza de Baca’s recent solo exhibitions include Alma, Garth Greenan Gallery, New York, NY; Let Earth Breathe, The Momentary Museum, Arkansas; Nepantla, Garth Greenan Gallery, New York, NY; Life is one Drop in Limitless Oceans…, Kunstfort, Vijfhuizen, Netherlands. Group exhibitions include Plein Air, MOCA Tucson, Arizona; Wasteland, The Drawing Center, New York, NY. Cabeza de Baca has completed residencies at the Rijksakademie, Amsterdam, Netherlands, the LMCC Workspace Program, New York, NY; the Sharpe-Walentas Studio Program, New York, NY, among others. His work has been featured in Art21, Vogue Magazine, The Boston Globe, The New York Times, Frieze Magazine, The Brooklyn Rail. Cabeza de Baca has an MFA from Columbia University and a BFA from The Cooper Union. He is represented by Garth Greenan Gallery.

About Wen Liu
Wen Liu (b. 1985 in Shanghai, China) earned her BFA in sculpture and MFA in fiber at the China Academy of Art. She was a DCASE Individual Artists Program Grantee for 2018, 2019 and 2020, and she received the Illinois Arts Council Agency 2020 Artist Fellowship Award. She has attended residencies at The RAiR Foundation, Vermont Studio Center, MASS MoCA, ACRE and Center Program at Hyde Park Art Center. Her work has been exhibited in the National Grand Theater in Beijing, China; 6018/North, Zhou B Art Center, Manifold Gallery and Culture Center in Chicago, Lubeznik Center for the Arts in Michigan City, IN, the Chicago Cultural Center and most recently at The Anderson Museum of Contemporary Art in New Mexico. Liu currently lives and works in Brooklyn, New York.

About Catalina Ouyang
Catalina Ouyang (b. Chicago, Illinois) engages object-making, interdisciplinary environments, and time-based projects, working with a variety of materials including hand-carved wood and stone, appropriated literature, and artifacts. Ouyang’s work has been the subject of solo and group presentations at Night Gallery (LA), SculptureCenter (NYC), the Aldrich Museum (Ridgefield, CT), Lyles & King, (New York), Jeffrey Deitch Gallery (NYC and LA), Simon Lee Gallery (London), Asia Art Center (Taipei), Galerie Kandlhofer (Vienna), and others. Ouyang’s work has been reviewed and featured in publications including the New York Times, Artforum, Flash Art, Momus, and Frieze. Their work is in the collections of the Brooklyn Museum, Perez Art Museum, Nasher Sculpture Center, High Museum of Art, Columbus Museum of Art, Kadist Foundation, Pond Society, X Museum, and Faurschou Foundation. Ouyang received an MFA from Yale University and lives and works in New York City.

About Pauline Shaw
Pauline Shaw (b. 1988, Kirkland, WA) lives and works in New York. She received an MFA from Columbia University in 2019 and a BFA from Rhode Island School of Design in 2011. Her work has been exhibited at Friends Indeed, San Francisco (2022); Downs and Ross, New York (2022); in lieu, Los Angeles (2021, 2019); The Shed, New York (2021); Spurs Gallery, Beijing (2021); Half Gallery, New York (2020); Institute of Contemporary Arts Singapore (2019); Almine Rech, Paris (2019); Gagosian, Park & 75th, New York (2019); and The Jewish Museum, New York (2018), among others. Shaw has been an artist-in-residence at ISCP, New York (2020) and France Los Angeles Residency Exchange Program (2014).

About Valerie Skakun
Valerie Skakun (b. 1986, Houston, Texas) is a multidisciplinary artist based in New York City, where they received a BFA from The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art and an MFA from Hunter College of The City University of New York. They collectively co-exist with and care for several communities of microorganisms. Skakun is currently developing the Beneficial Bacteria Biodegradable Milk Polymer, an evergrowing detailed archive of artifacts and recipes for transforming raw fermented milk into a biodegradable polymer. They are appreciative to the Canada Council for the Arts for awarding a Digital Originals grant, New York Foundation for the Arts for a City Artist Corps Grant, Queens Council on the Arts for two SU-CASA grants, The Hambidge Center for Creative Arts and Sciences for a Wisebram Culinary Distinguished Fellowship and private housing + studio during COVID (2023), Swale House for a free residency and private studio on Governors Island during COVID (2023), Penland School of Craft for a Winter Residency Fellowship, Marble House Residency for a fully funded residency, A-Z West for a work-trade residency, ChaNorth for a private living space + studio during COVID (2021), PlySpace for a Resident Artist Fellowship and a private living space + studio during COVID (2020), and Vermont Studio Center for an Artist Opportunity Fellowship.

About Ye Qin Zhu
Ye Qin Zhu (b. 1986, Brooklyn, NY) Based in Brooklyn, NY Ye Qin Zhu is an interdisciplinary artist with a wide ranging practice that encompasses painting, public art, and social practice. In the past two years Zhu has had an NYC solo exhibition at DIMIN Gallery, Harkawik Gallery, and an institutional solo at the Andrew Freedman Home in Bronx, NY; was in group shows at Harper’s Gallery and James Fuentes in NYC, GAVLAK Gallery, LA, Galerie Marguo, Paris, France; designed a billboard at Kingsgate Project Space in London, UK; and designed two large-scale public art installations, one in Strafford, NH called A Universe and the other in Governors Island, New York titled CONSTELLATION. Zhu is a leading member of the On Memory coalition that spearheaded the New Haven COVID-19 Memorial, working with the city’s Department of Cultural Affairs, residents, community and organization leaders to remediate a contaminated land into a healing-garden art-park (recipient of Andrew Mellon Foundation grant, 2022-2023). From 2021-2022, Zhu has worked closely with healthcare workers at Yale-New Haven Hospital to create a permanent tribute art installation in the front atrium of the Yale School of Medicine. Notable awards Zhu have received are Andrew Freedman Home studio residency, Bronx, NY (2021-2022), THAT Co. studio grant in Bushwick, New York (2022-present), Tsai CITY (Center for Innovative Thinking at Yale) Innovation Fellow (2020-2022), and Critical Practice Research Grant at Yale New Haven, CT (2020). Zhu has been the subject of interviews for publications in the New York Times, Curator Guide, and Arts Council of Greater New Haven.