Keepers of the Waters: The Betsy Damon Archive
Tuesday, March 20, 2018
Asia Art Archive in America
Video documentation by Asia Art Archive in America
A conversation with Betsy Damon and Asia Art Archive in America’s Jane DeBevoise and Cici Wu focused on the documentation of ‘Keepers of the Waters’, Ms. Damon’s community-based water activism initiative, that took place in Chengdu, Sichuan Province (1995) and Lhasa, Tibet Autonomous Region (1996). Comprised of slides, audio-visual recordings, newspaper clippings, and interviews, this collection contains material pertinent to environmental activism, performance art, women artists, artist collectives, exhibition histories, and the development of contemporary art in regional cities of China.
Betsy Damon is a performance artist and environmental activist. She was a founding member of the Women’s Caucus for Art and the Feminist Art Studio at Cornell University in 1973. In 1984 she founded the No Limits for Women Artists workshop, a support system that became a national organization for women artists. Beginning with the creation of Keepers of the Waters in 1991, Betsy has continued to work towards creating community-based models of water stewardship. Her work includes sculpture, teaching, writing, designing, lectures and workshops. One of her most well known projects was Living Water Garden an urban-based ecological park in Chengdu, China, completed in 1998. Her next book The People’s Water will be published this coming fall.
Image caption: (Left) Betsy Damon, Chengdu, China, 1995. (Right) Sweeping River by Da Tong Da Zhang, Lhasa, Tibet, 1996. Images courtesy of Betsy Damon and Asia Art Archive.
This program is supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, in partnership with the City Council.