Ghost Stories Are All Love Stories

When 7 Oct 2021 - 5 Nov 2021
Where LES Gallery
107 Suffolk Street
New, NY 10002
United States

Featuring drawings, sculptural installations, and videos by Banyi Huang, Mei Kazama, Maya Yu Zhang, and Lu Zhang, Ghost Stories Are All Love Stories searches for alternative modes of belonging and cyclical motions of time within the context of Asian American diasporic communities. Shared across various East Asian countries, the Ullam-bana festival—also known as Obon, Guijie, or Hungry Ghost Festival— originates from the Buddhist-Confucian custom that honors and celebrates ancestral spirits. At the core of these rituals are cycles of return, whether it be the return of spirits or visitation to graves. How do we negotiate emotional and physical access from a distance? How does the hunger for familial and generational connections manifest?

This show marks and reconciles shifts within narratives of migration and physical-psychological displacements. Banyi Huang’s hybrid household objects—a floor lamp sprouting three buddha heads, a Chang’E-jade-rabbit dildo, and a shaman-warrior water fountain—find ways to their speculative-mythical origins in the collaborative video made with Maya Yu Zhang, DONG , a porno-horrific-fantasy set in a lunar cave. Mei Kazama’s colored pencil and pen drawings amass fragments of home, domestic objects, ritual memories, and bodies of water, creating portals that collapse and fade the distinctions of time, geography, and presence. In Lu Zhang’s work, a ceramic lamp leads to the Elysian field, a clothes hanger holds memories to dry, a flying turtle turns from a bucket cat, a painting captures her grandparents’ immaculately maintained living room even after their passing, and a video installation reflects on the process of floating between dreams and reality.

Connecting moving images, drawings, and hand-crafted objects in an interior landscape, Ghost Stories Are All Love Stories is a phantasmagoric tale of intimacy colliding with the everyday. The show inhabits liminal spaces in which spirits, mythical creatures, memories, dreams, and longings roam free. The ghostly, formulated here as a lingering affect that transcends linear notions of time and space, finds parallel in love.

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Image courtesy of the event organizer.