Within You Without You

When 9 Apr 2011 - 8 May 2011
Where NARS Gallery
88 35th Street, 3rd floor
Brooklyn, NY 11232
United States
Enquiry 718.768.2765

April 9th – May 8th, 2011

Opening Reception: 3:00pm – 6:00pm, Saturday, April 9th, 2011

Artist Panel Discussion: 4:00pm, Saturday, April 16th, 2011

Press Release:

The New York Art Residency & Studios (NARS) Foundation is pleased to present a group exhibition of New York-based Asian artists, featuring a site-specific installation and drawings by Haeri Yoo; paintings by Jana Benitez and Zhang Yu; an oil painting installation by Taku Saito; and a video by Cao Yi.

“The response of one organism to the gestures of another in any given social act is the meaning of that gesture” (George Herbert Mead). Each of the works in WITHIN YOU WITHOUT YOU is a kind of self-portrait that investigates the essential connection between the self and society; the dynamic is played out and transformed in the connection of each work to the others and to the exhibition as a whole.

Inspired by the Modern European art tradition and the elegant gestures of martial arts movement, Jana Benitz expresses an interior world with her bold murals. Combining figurative and abstract symbols with uninhibited brush work, Benitez explores emotion in human faces and figures. Her images can evoke an intense yet whimsical quarrel between vibrant internal organs and a cogitating mind. Cao Yi demonstrates solid skills in a wide variety of media including photography, drawing, and painting. The video of his photo series “Beauty in My Eyes” captures images of nature literally reflected in Cao’s eyes. His photographic gaze is insistent but illusory. Cao’s works invite viewers into a dialogue between the outer landscape and inner self. Taku Saito’s self-portraits, at first glance, appear to be emotionless, yet, the sense of isolation and determination is evident. The facial structure in the portrait is fragmented, dissolved into dripping oil. Intriguingly, the influence of manga style, and reminiscences of adolescent struggles are embedded in the paintings. Saito uses his face as the motif to represent social portraits of ordinary, everyday lives, their unexpected distractions, chaotic incidents, and survival instincts. Haeri Yoo’s drawings and site-specific wall works explore human sexuality, bodily tensions, illicit thoughts and oppression. Yoo uses materials, including pencil, pastels, acrylic, handcrafted and found objects, and spray paint as well as collage elements with an expressive energy. Blurring the boundary between abstraction and figurative depiction, her work segregates and playfully mutates reality. Beauty and violence, light and dark are left in an inconclusive, disharmonious impasse. The female figures in Zhang Yu’s paintings share common appearances: light colored skin and dehumanized eyes against an illuminated background. Zhang’s use of snapshots, movie images, and magazine clips to depict a generic “female being” is an introspective process. Her exceptionally strong draftsmanship frees her to use canvas as the space where the intensity and complexities of the subject are bought forward. Zhang seeks the essence of human nature, which she believes can only be discovered within.

About the curator:

Michelle Loh is a New York art consultant who specializes in organizing art fairs and group exhibitions. Loh advises individual and institutional collectors about contemporary Asian art. Her most recent projects include FOCUS SHANGHAI: Two Contemporary Chinese Video Artists at Thomas Erben Gallery, and Trans-Realism: Contemporary Art from China at Christie’s. She was part of the founding team of the Asian Contemporary Art Fair, New York 2007 and 2008, and the co-publisher of Art Asia Pacific from 2003 to 2005.

Gallery Hours:

Wednesday – Friday: 1:00pm – 6:00pm, Saturday – Sunday: by appointment between 12:00pm – 6:00pm

Please call the NARS office to set up an appointment at 718-768-2765.