Bringing together collective enterprises mh PROJECT nyc, Mutual Aid Projects, and Northeast by Southeast, this program on July 13 sought to explore alternative ways of organizing outside of institutional frameworks. By considering how each collective uses exhibition-making as a means of experimenting with ideas and fostering friendships, this conversation aimed to question how we think about community and the way collectives operate over time and in the face of challenges like the pandemic.
Following short introductions on the mission of their respective projects, Francis Estrada (Northeast by Southeast) and Mayumi Hayashi (mh PROJECT nyc) joined moderator Eugenie Tsai for a conversation on the shifting nature of friendship, community, and collectivity.
mh PROJECT nyc is a project space for emerging / mid-career artists from Asia, as well as for NYC artists. Offering a space that is free for artists to use, mh PROJECT nyc aims to cultivate creativity through site-specific, experimental, and DIY* projects. (*Artists can organize their event programs to develop their ideas/creations throughout the duration of their projects).
Mayumi Hayashi opened mh PROJECT nyc in the East Village, NY, in 2017. Hayashi was co-founder and director of OZASAHAYASHI, a contemporary art gallery in Kyoto, Japan from 2015 to 2017. She was also co-founder of Goliath Visual Space, one of the original artist run spaces in Greenpoint, Brooklyn from 1997 to 2006. There she curated and directed a program of over thirty exhibitions. Hayashi worked for over a decade in not-for-profit art organizations in New York City, including International Studio & Curatorial Program (ISCP) from 2001 to 2008. In summer 2022, she will launch a new space mh PROJECT_Nokogiri in Ichinomiya-city, Japan.
Operating from 2020 to 2021, Mutual Aid Projects was a curator-run independent project space located in Wisma Central, Kuala Lumpur. It sought to fill one of the many voids brought about by the pandemic, that of friendship, collaboration and a thoughtful exchange of ideas. Joining curator Eric Goh in the project were artists Areena Ang, Dipali Gupta, Izat Arif, Tan Zi Hao, and Hoo Fan Chon.
Eric Goh is an art writer, critic, and curator from Kuala Lumpur. Committed to the eco-critical turn in art history, he examines the intersection between economics and ecology in the visual arts. He earned his MA in Art History at the Institute of Fine Arts, New York University and BA in Economics from the University of Edinburgh. He has written for Artforum, Heichi Magazine, among other journals, and he will begin his PhD in Art History at Cornell University in the fall of 2022.
Northeast by Southeast (NExSE) is a small and emerging intergenerational collective of Filipino-American artists living and working in New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania. The similarity among members begins with a shared ethnic heritage, yet divergence in personal histories shapes their individual expression as artists. NExSE celebrates the essence of community, placing emphasis on the diversity of narratives as immigrants and children of immigrants in the United States.
Francis Estrada is a visual artist and educator born in the Philippines and currently residing in Brooklyn, New York. Estrada has a fine arts degree in painting and drawing, and has taught in a variety of studio, classroom, and museum settings to diverse audiences. As a museum educator, he enjoys teaching about the amalgamation of art and culture through objects. His artwork interrogates how visual cues found in historical photographs, mass media, political propaganda, and personal archives influence or inflect social or cultural narratives. Francis exhibits his work internationally, and his recent projects have integrated interdisciplinary collaborations with artists, designers, writers, and scholars.
Eugenie Tsai is the John and Barbara Vogelstein Senior Curator, Contemporary Art, at the Brooklyn Museum. In 2021, she organized “KAWS: WHAT PARTY,” “The Slipstream: Reflection, Resilience, and Resistance in the Art of Our Time,” and coordinated the Brooklyn Museum’s presentation of “The Obama Portraits.” She recently opened “Guadalupe Maravilla: Tierra Blanca Joven,” and is currently organizing an exhibition of Oscar yi Hou, the 2022 Ouvo Prize recipient.
Practicing Collectivity: Conversation with Francis Estrada, Mayumi Hayashi, Eric Goh, and Eugenie Tsai is made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of the Office of the Governor and the New York State Legislature.