LatchKey Gallery is delighted to present ‘EXPANDING THE PANOPTICON,’ a group exhibition featuring 12 emerging artists currently pursuing their MFA at the School of Visual Arts, NY. Guided by artist James O. Clark, along with Amanda Uribe, Founder/Director of LatchKey Gallery.
The exhibition unfolds a narrative that begins with playful reminiscences of childhood, leading into the realities and emotional landscapes of the body, trauma, ecological crisis, and politics. Each artist comes to term with reality by delving into a spectrum of dynamic emotions and cultural undercurrents running through today’s world. Amidst a chaotic global backdrop, where the impending consequences of humanity loom large, these artists recognize trials and tribulations by wading between whimsical dreamscapes of play and curiosity and thoughtful reflections of a disturbed reality.
Throughout the exhibition, echoes of abstraction, a sense of place, color, and curiosity persist, engaging the audience in contemplation of past and future, internal and external, control and freedom. Through a rich mix of material exploration in painting, sculpture, and installation, this exhibition invites viewers into a space that follows a path of memory and realization traversing the contradictions and dualities inherent to the human condition.
October 20 – 27, 2023
October 20, 2023 | 6-8 PM
173 Henry St, New York, NY 10002
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Lulu Luyao Chang (b. 1996, Hyogo, Japan) is a multimedia artist currently based in New York who works primarily in installation, sculpture, and video. Born in Japan and raised in Beijing, their work explores the politics of the unsaid, from social norms to explicit repressions around issues of sex, recognition, and labor. Identifying as non-binary, they constantly strive to amplify the voices of sexual minorities, especially within China’s blaring, chauvinist rhetoric of national becoming, in order to create a more inclusive historical archive. They received a bachelor’s degree in art history from Central Academy of Fine Arts in Beijing in 2019, and currently study in the MFA Fine Arts program at the School of Visual Arts in New York.
Yuanjie Chen (Shanghai, China) is a multidisciplinary artist, based in New York City. Presently, Yuanjie is focused on making sculptures and installations. Paraffin wax, concrete, ready-made materials, and acrylic are some of many materials utilized by the artist. Family, self-consciousness, and culture are some major subjects in the work. The relationship between material and space created a shock factor – so the artist focused on the language between different materials; a vocabulary is conjured-up from stereotypes that can be portrayed through material. One aim of the artist’s work is to seek collision, resonance, and understatement from materials; through it, they express emotion and conception much more to the audience.
Erin Hayde (b. 1988, California) is an economist and visual artist currently focused on sculpture, installation, and works on paper. Her(/their) work is informed by her(/their) experience working on the economics of climate mitigation and feelings of ecological and existential anxiety. She(/they) works with simple and accessible materials that are considered disposable or have been discarded, usually plastic and other garbage. Leaning into the absurd, she(/they) surrounds herself(/themself) with trash and uses her(/their) art practice to explore ideas of human/nature, value, materiality, and the Anthropocene, often through a humorous lens. Her(/their) practice can be seen as both a rejection of commodity value systems and an attempt to mitigate ecological harm by repurposing post-consumer waste; trash is transformed into a precious object, literally confounding the value of the material itself. She(/they) is currently working towards an MFA at the School of Visual Arts in New York City.
Seraphin Hedges Jarboe (b. 1977 Louisville, KY) is a NYC-based interdisciplinary artist. Utilizing skin as language and body as archive, her practice exposes the unspoken internal female experience, often focusing on the evidence and lasting effects of violence perpetrated on the female body. Both inviting and disrupting the objectification of the feminine form, her work investigates the tension created by the skins threshold to allow or deny access, while navigating the irreconcilable dualities in the relationships between violence and intimacy; beauty and ruin.
Born of African American and European descent in Louisville, Kentucky, Seraphin was raised by a single mother in an extended family of a strong matriarchal lineage. Her southern ancestry, the politics of a multiracial existence and the experiences of the women she has descended from heavily influence the direction and content of her work. Seraphin is an MFA Fine Arts candidate at the School of Visual Arts in New York City and holds a BFA in Theatre Studies from Emerson College in Boston, MA. She and her partner live between New York City and New Jersey.
Ahyun Jeon (b. 1997) is a painter based in Seoul and New York. In her work, she captures dual and simultaneous multiple appearances of human beings, that is, the short moment when positive and negative aspects coexist, and draws the ambiguity itself. However, just as we do not infer our status every moment, she also already draws figures before any perceptual activity occurs. She visualizes the ambiguous “it” state in a constant change through her sight.
Bitna Jung (b. 1987, Seoul, South Korea) is a multidisciplinary artist who focuses on painting. She has always been fascinated by the innocence of children. As she reflected on herself, she realized that most of an adult’s personality, including attachment style, is formed through childhood, especially the relationship with parents. When she saw more diverse children and parents in the United States, this interest grew. She wants as many children as possible to grow up to be adults with healthy hearts and minds who can take good care of themselves. She expresses her narrative through images she took in person, between boundaries of constructivism and abstract expressionism.
Yong Eun (May) Kwon (b. 1994, Seoul, Republic of Korea) is an artist currently working in New York. She uses a variety of materials to create her pink half-human half-fish persona ‘Fish Daegari’ (means fish head in Korean), across two-dimensional and three-dimensional spaces. She humorously expresses incomplete human self-portraits of people who want to escape from various concerns. Alcohol often appears in her work. This is reminiscent of the liberation of citizens in the ancient Dionysus Festival. The fish head is a mask worn for the Dionysus Festival in her art world. Having studied art since childhood and received bachelor’s and master’s degrees of fine arts in sculpture, she is currently pursuing an MFA at SVA in New York.
Tina Mitchell (b. 1998, New York) is a visual artist currently working in New York City. She works with paint, paper, fabric, wood, clay, metal, string, and other found materials to create two dimensional and three dimensional sculptures and installations. She is interested in using imagery of doorways, nets, holes, and cells to explore internal and external themes of play, systems, and freedom. Mitchell is currently pursuing an MFA degree at the School of Visual Arts in New York City where she is delving further into the understanding of the way in which play is both hindered and encouraged in adult life.
Minji Seo (b. 1998, South Korea) is a New York-based Korean artist who captures the essence of joy in life. She employs bold lines with oil pastels and finely polished facets of oil paint to express raw emotions within classical leisure activities. Her art features a vibrant and patchwork-like surface adorned with repeated patterns, effectively conveying joy through formal elements.
Luis Valenzuela (b. 1995, Los Angeles, CA) is a mixed media painter and installation artist. Moving between painting, collage, and digital elements, his work explores emotional responses to encroachments of digital culture on our sense of identity and of the natural world. Luis received his BA in Arts from Reed College in 2017 and came to New York to pursue his MFA at the School of Visual Arts.
Xiaoxiao Wu (b. 1999, Chongqing, China) is a multimedia artist currently based in New York who primarily works in installation and sculpture. She primarily focuses on self-discovery, exploring what has made her who she is. Her works revolve around the influence of family of origin and the memories of constant relocations, seeking reconciliation with the past through making art. She kind of like a hoarder attempts to use art to collect fragments of her life, turning it into her life journal and a form of self-healing. Windows always served as her connection to the outside world. She is fascinated by using art to lock in the utopian world from her childhood memories beyond the window, filled with contemplation about the distinction between the world outside and the world within. She got her BFA degree in sculpture major from Sichuan Fine Arts Institute in Chongqing, China in 2022 and currently studies at the School of Visual Arts in the MFA Fine Arts program in New York.
Shawn Xiao (b. 1996, Chengdu, China) is a multimedia visual artist. His practice mainly focuses on painting, sculpture, and wearable art. He was born and raised in Chengdu, China, where he began with Chinese ink painting and oil painting. In 2020 he graduated from the Massachusetts College of Art and Design in Boston with a BFA in Fashion Design. Currently, he is studying for his MFA in Fine Art at the School of Visual Arts in New York City. Shawn roots his work in social commentary and self-examination. His current work combines figure painting and sculpture. Through this medium he seeks to challenge the boundaries of figurative painting imposed by the surface layer of the canvas. He creates different human-like characters in an exploration of the depth of lost memories and dreams.
(text & photo courtesy of the artists and LatchKey Gallery)