The Faraway Nearby

Saturday, February 10, 2024

A.I.R. Gallery is pleased to announce The Faraway Nearby, a relay exhibition that features the works and exchanges of eight Asian women artists who engaged in a five-month-long dialogue project curated by Jiyeon Paik. Inspired by Rebecca Solnit’s book The Faraway Nearby, the exhibition fosters stories that have resonated across time and bound artists together.

The Faraway Nearby will unfold over the course of four weeks. Each rotation will showcase a different pair of artists. The artists embrace intuition and indeterminacy as part of their creative process and recognize that vulnerability can play a role in forging connection. Their artworks encompass a range of media, including drawings, paintings, sculptures, ceramics, videos, photographs, and performances, and explore themes such as identity, belonging, home, health, and politics. The exhibition will also include archival materials from the artists’ dialogues, which can be found online on the website thefarawaynearby.us and on the Instagram account @thefarawaynearby.us.

Week 1: Yasi Alipour and Kyoung eun Kang share their thoughts and experiences on sisterhood, language, and their everyday life through letters, photos, and videos. The two artists braid a scarf’s fringe and hair in their respective locations—New York and Jinhae—as a gesture of intimacy and care in Braid (2023), and capture their reunion and dance together in the sculpture garden at MoMA in New York in Dancing with Yasi (2023).

Week 2: Kyunglim Lee and Jahyun Seo, who immigrated to New York around the same time, examine their identities as mothers, Christians, and artists. Lee’s cardboard sculptures and paintings depict her self-portrait as a dented cushion, while Seo’s digital drawings and paintings represent her simultaneous life in Seoul and New York.

Week 3: Bonam Kim and Lu Zhang explore the theme of women’s health through Korean and Chinese herbs. Through works in plaster and ceramic, they share their personal stories of losing family members during the pandemic and finding the meaning of home in different ways.

Week 4: Chang Sujung and Seung-Min Lee will present tote bags that convey their critique of social and political issues. They examine the elitism of the art world, as reflected in the tote bags of prominent events and institutions, and people’s aspiration for social recognition, as manifested in the counterfeit bag market. At the end of the show, Chang and Lee will perform a bag clinic and distribute the remaining bags to the audience.

The Faraway Nearby is a project that explores different ways the process of dialogue might unfold between Asian women artists, engendering feelings of both empathy and solidarity. As Solnit writes, “The task of learning to be free requires learning to hear them, to question them, to pause and hear silence, to name them, and then become a story-teller.” The exhibition invites the audience to join the conversation and witness the stories of the faraway nearby.

Week 1 (February 10–18) – Yasi Alipour and Kyoung eun Kang
Week 2 (February 19–25) – Kyunglim Lee and Jahyn Seo
Week 3 (February 26–March 3) – Bonam Kim and Lu Zhang
Week 4 (March 4-10) – Chang Sujung and Seung-Min Lee

Curated by Jiyeon Paik
Social media campaign by Jiwoo Kim
Poster design by Yeju Choi

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