August 2019 Exhibitions at IA&A at Hillyer

By Editorial Team on July 30, 2019
Courtesy of IA&A at Hillyer.
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Reception: Friday, August 2 from 6pm to 9pm
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IA&A at Hillyer presents three new exhibitions featuring Emily Fussner, Christopher Kojzar, and Starting from the Island, Contemporary Art from Taiwan, curated by Yan-Huei Chen of Art Bank Taiwan and featuring Yun-Ting Hun, Kuen-Lin Tsai, Tai-Chun Chou, and Don Don Houmwm. The exhibitions will open on Friday, August 2, 2019. Fussner and Kojzar’s shows will run through September 1, 2019. Starting from the Island will run through September 29, 2019. Artists Fussner, Kojzar, and Tsai will be present to talk about their work with visitors at the reception on Friday, August 2, 2019 from 6-9pm.

Emily Fussner: In Light Of (Fairfax, VA)
In Light Of— questions notions of time, presence, and healing by bringing into focus the fleeting patterns of light and cracks that often only flicker in our peripheral vision. Considering these mundane ephemeral moments with attention and care, they become thresholds of possibility. Photographs and on-site tracings translated into books, poetry, and sculpture, give form to what is usually transient and intangible, inhabiting a gap between passing and dwelling, between a reflection of what is and a proposal of what could be.

Often tracing and photographing shapes of sunlight and shadow, or filling and casting cracks in the ground with paper pulp, Fussner transfers her site-specific observations into installations, sculptures, and artist books. She poetically considers these familiar yet peripheral patterns to explore the relationship of place and the body, questions of fragility and healing, transience and presence, care and possibility.

Emily Fussner (b. 1991, Indonesia) is an artist based in Northern Virginia. She holds a BS in Printmaking from Indiana Wesleyan University (2013) and an MFA in Visual Arts from George Mason University (2019).  Studying abroad with Gordon College in Orvieto, Italy, and with American University’s MFA Studio Berlin residency program also influenced her greatly. Fussner has professional experience in graphic design, teaching printmaking and papermaking, and arts administration. In the past she worked for the Joan Hisaoka Healing Arts Gallery in Washington, DC, and most recently curated exhibitions as the Graduate Professional Assistant for Fenwick Gallery at George Mason University. Fussner was awarded a 2018-2019 Virginia Museum of Fine Arts Graduate Fellowship, has had solo exhibitions in the Gillespie Gallery in the School of Art at GMU and the Art Lab at Workhouse Arts Center, and exhibited in group shows regionally and internationally.

Christopher Kojzar: Plainclothes Agenda (Baltimore, MD)
Christopher Kojzar creates art in response to interactions he has with other people when he enters active public spaces and openly engages in artistic practices such as drawing or recording with wearable technology. Prompted by interactions with security personnel, bystanders and the spaces themselves, his work explores observing and being observed in an era of escalating surveillance and mistrust—complicating it further by signaling his identity as an artist. In Plainclothes Agenda, Kojzar creates mixed-media works, interactive sculpture, and immersive video art in response to interactions he has experienced while sharing open and public spaces with others.  All of this output has shaped a nuanced body of work about what it means to see and be seen.

Christopher Kojzar received a B.A. in International Affairs from George Washington University and an MFA in Intermedia and Digital Arts from the University of Maryland Baltimore County. He has been selected for many residencies including the Creative Alliance in Baltimore, MD, Crosstown Arts in Memphis, TN, the Seventh Wave Residency in Rhinebeck, NY, and the Truth and Reconciliation Residency at the Santa Fe Art Institute. His work has been selected for numerous solo and group exhibitions. In 2018 was a Ruby Award Grantee from the Duetsch Foundation, and is a two-time Trawick Award Finalist.

Starting from the Island, Contemporary Art from Taiwan 
The island is the hometown where we were born, the place where we live and the starting point of our mobility.” The qualities of an island evolve with time: it is no longer an area bordered by the ocean as people now reach out frequently and rapidly through convenient transportation and internet networks to territories in either the physical or the virtual world, gaining a large, constantly-changing amount of environmental experiences and information. People’s life experiences are no longer tied to a single place but sit at the intersection where experiences with various places meet. Against this context, artists Yun-Ting Hun, Kuen-Lin Tsai, Tai-Chun Chou, and Don Don Houmwm probe into the environment to continuously examine and compare and contrast social phenomena, all starting from the island.

The perception and awareness of the external world of the Kaohsiung-based artist Yun-Ting Hun are grounded in and extend from this iconic industrial city where she grew up. Hung’s installation reflects her resistance to fast, industrialized production. She uses black paper to meticulously make more than four hundred miniature objects including power facilities, military equipment, industrial machinery, transportation vehicles, and daily necessities. Each item is aligned with the grid pattern on the floor to illustrate homogenization in contemporary society under the influence of globalization and mass mechanical production.

When it dawned on Kuen-Lin Tsai that he knew very little about his home country of Taiwan because his early education focused little attention on local cultures, he initiated an ongoing fieldwork archiving project covering different locations he visits. He begins with sounds in daily life and extending to cultural, acoustic, and imagery of countries where he has worked as a resident artist. His series The Sound from Far Away is comprised of a length of pipe made into amplifiers for subtle sound elements he collected from his environment; as these amplifiers deliver these daily sounds, they also deliver the artist’s memory and impression of said environment.

Of great interest to Chou Tai-Chun is news coverage about earthquakes and other land disasters in Taiwan—with more than thirty fault zones and a lot of diastrophic movements, this is something that residents on this land tend to follow. In the 2011 paintings Global Silent and Beyond the Silence and the more recent Beyond the Mountains, he moves between the real and the virtual as he merges actual space with news images of disasters in highly contrasting colors to create optical illusion, ambiguity, and mirage. The pieces shake the viewers’ established understanding of landscapes and prompt them to rethink the meaning of real surroundings.

Taiwan, including its indigenous peoples, is not immune to the phenomenon of local traditional cultures and customs being affected by rapid media communications, generations of migration, and social changes. In the video work Prayer by Don Don Houmwm, the artist himself appears to narrate as both the shaman of his tribe and as himself. When presenting his tribe’s religious rituals, the piece contrasts traditional rites with day-to-day situations in the contemporary changing cultural context. The religion itself remains the same, and beginning with this the artist explores differences and hybridism in the tribal cultural transition and takes a further step to reflect upon his people’s self-identity and positioning.

Starting from the Island is an exhibition of how four artists from Taiwan connect their multi-local life experiences and environmental observations in a fast-changing contemporary environment of information overload. This exhibition is presented in partnership with the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office in the United States and Art Bank Taiwan.

Gallery Hours:

  • Tuesday-Friday: 12pm to 6pm
  • Saturday-Monday: 12pm to 5pm
  • and by appointment

IA&A at Hillyer is located at 9 Hillyer Ct. NW. For more information, visit http://athillyer.org.