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Joyce Yu-Jean Lee: Growing Glo-cal (Artist Talk)
October 24 @ 3:00 pm - 5:00 pmFree
Exhibition Dates: October 2-November 1, 2020
Opening Reception: Friday, October 2, 6-9pm
Virtual Artist Talk: Saturday, October 24, 3-5pm
(This exhibition will also be available online via our website)
Visual artist Joyce Yu-Jean Lee presents a new body of work in Growing Glo-cal, her first solo exhibition in Poughkeepsie, NY at Womens.Work Art gallery. Inspired by the unusual circumstances of 2020, the exhibition examines the cross-cultural climate in the U.S. during the novel Coronavirus pandemic shutdown. Questioning the labels of the “China virus” or “Wuhan virus,” Lee’s show challenges the legitimacy of American media and its bias against the “other,” specifically the Chinese role in the global outbreak. Her artwork encapsulates the barrage of photographs, headlines, and visual ephemera used by media outlets during the pandemic. She combines this with references to Chinese decorative arts and design in order to explore how Chinese visual identity becomes colonized, globalized and localized—during this current crisis as well as throughout art history.
A series of colorful aluminum wall sculptures abstract headlines and images from international newspapers bearing COVID-19 updates, and the ensuing Black Lives Matter protests. Iconic virus and face mask silhouettes from mass media and social media are repeated iteratively. Each sculpture is a relief protruding and extending from the wall towards the viewer, morphing and growing as if being transmitted from one infection to another. These wall works play with and around geographic and national boundaries that stereotype perspectives on the “other.”
Three wooden folding screens bisect both Womens.Work Art gallery and Clinton Street Studio. Each screen contains nine panels which turn within their frames, revealing contrasting images and patterns on either side. A flip-flop between western versus eastern ideals and aestheticism, viewers gain a bird’s eye view of the artist’s interpretation of the cultural and political tension between the U.S. and China. Like windows into opposing worlds, each frame is a fraction of the whole picture, incomplete on it’s own, yet comprising a dual reciprocity.
The Growing Glo-cal exhibition will include an opening reception on Friday, October 2 from 6-9pm and a virtual artist talk on Saturday, October 24 from 3-5pm. At the artist talk, Lee will be present to discuss how her cultural heritage influences her practice and plays a role in the larger transnational art discourse.
. . .
Joyce Yu-Jean Lee is an American-born Chinese-Taiwanese visual artist and educator based in New York City. Her work examines how media, technology, and culture influence truth and understanding of the “other.” She makes artwork fabricated from digital photography, video, and interactive installation combining social practice with institutional critique. As a Chinese American artist, her interdisciplinary art practice investigates the questions: How does visual culture reflect and/or script dominant ideologies about the “other”? Does the representation of truth differ visually by culture? Lee is an Assistant Professor of Art & Digital Media at Marist College in Poughkeepsie, NY.
This project is made possible with funds from the Decentralization Program, a regrant program of the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature and administered by Arts Mid-Hudson.