Pei-Hsuan Wang: For Iris
|When||10 Jan 2020 - 7 Feb 2020|
456 Broadway, 3rd floor,
New York, NY 10013
Opening Reception: 01.10. 2020, 6-8 pm
Gallery 456 is pleased to present For Iris , a solo exhibition of recent body of work by artist Pei-Hsuan Wang. The show features an installation of mixed-media sculptures and drawing as the artist explores personal affection and narratives through multiple cultural lenses and elegantly-executed material processes.
The exhibition centers around the artist and her 9-year-old niece, Iris. A brilliantly imaginative child with Taiwanese and American roots, Iris has a fantastical view of the world animated by magical beings, extraordinary abilities, and unconventional norms. Her sweet yet unruly personality as well as imagination have gifted the artist an alternative lens into understanding and reinterpreting her family’s experiences in diaspora. Exotic creatures have become portals into an intimate, shared universe fulfilled by Iris’ and the artist’s experiences and fantasies.
Cheetahs and parrots are beings that are often objectified or removed from context for their stunning patterns, colors, and physique. Their physical traits, at first developed as survival attributes, have uncannily made them targets of humanly desire and appropriation. They have become conflicted stand-ins for kitsch, luxury, exoticism, and things with ambiguous origins.
Wang sculpts and reproduces forms alluding to the idea of these animals in ceramics and acrylic via a mold-making and casting process. She also builds from memory an earthenware head that combines the facial features of both Iris and herself. A miniature organic shape made from polyester resin brings into mind the female body; and a charcoal drawing eerily imitates a photograph capturing a tender moment in which the artist touches an unfinished clay sculpture as if caressing a child’s face. These pieces have all undergone various stages of appropriation and transformation. They belong to a system composed of refracted references that mingle together reality, memory, and myth-making. They also resemble “power objects” that channel the projection, borrowing, and assertion of identity and the self, forever bearing the sense of fetishism, alienation, and impurity (hybridity) often imagined alongside the diasporic experience.
About the Artist
Pei-Hsuan Wang holds a BA from Macalester College, MN, and an MFA from Cranbrook Academy of Art, MI, USA.
Migration, imagination, and the self are at the core of Wang’s practice. Extracting remarkable moments of everyday reality, Wang reflects on the ties and discrepancies between private experiences and the greater narrative. Portraiture, landscape, and migrating bodies are key approaches adapted in Wang’s work. Through manipulating objects, images, material processes, and spaces, she creates poetic scenarios in which unique constellations of logic and storylines push and pull against one another, forming shifting identities of their own.
Wang has exhibited work at the Taipei Fine Arts Museum, Taipei Contemporary Art Center, Hong-Gah Museum, Taipei, and the National Gallery of Indonesia, among others. Recent residency programs include International Studio & Curatorial Program, New York, USA (2018), Asia Culture Center, Gwangju, South Korea (2018), and the Rijksakademie, Amsterdam, Netherlands (2019).
Image courtesy of the event organizer.
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