Reception: Thursday, February 8 from 6pm to 8pm
Juror’s Talk at 7 pm
The newest exhibition in Target Gallery, the contemporary exhibition space for the Torpedo Factory Art Center, explores the lasting effects migration has on cultural identity. Passages gives an intimate look in to artists’ individual experiences and how they shaped who they are today. It is on view Saturday, January 27 through Sunday, March 4, 2018.
“Each work of art offers a personal look into a multi-layered personal and complex process of journeys, cultural exchange, assimilation, rejection, transculturation, and preservation,” said exhibition juror, Adriana Ospina, curator of the Permanent Collection and Education at the Art Museum of Americas. “Passages is but a small sample of a contemporary global process. It’s a reminder that movement and settlement are a recurring historical course.”
The 16 artists represented in Passages—nine of whom are from the region—are all first, second, or third generation immigrants to the United States. The participating artists are:
- WonJung Choi, Richmond, VA
- Isabella Cruz-Chong, Brooklyn, NY
- Anne Dushanko Dobek, New Providence, NJ
- Abiodun Eniyandunni, Washington, DC
- Nadia Estela, Montclair, NJ
- Samar Hussaini, West Orange, NJ
- Bahar Jalehmahmoudi, Adelphi, MD
- Gail Morrison-Hall, Wyncote, PA
- Sherwin Rio, San Francisco, CA
- Rafael Rodriguez, Hyattesville, MD
- Kanika Sircar, Washington, DC
- Marite Vidales, Washington DC
- Aaron Wax, Brooklyn, NY
- Jenny Wu, Alexandria, VA (2015 Post-Graduate Resident)
- Ju Yun, Chantilly, VA
- Helen Zughaib, Washington, DC
Through painting, sculpture, collage, and video, artists share their stories from the perspective of immigrants and immigrant families from across the global diaspora. The viewer is invited to get a more intimate connection with the experiences and feelings the artists are reflecting through their work. For instance, WonJung Choi, originally from Korea, has what she refers to as a “nomadic self-identity.” In Borderless, she takes traditionally Western silverware and transformed it into shoes fitted to her feet, the design inspired by Western battle armor. The shoes suggest protection for her, to shield her throughout her journeys.
Sherwin Rio, born in the United States with roots in the Philippines, confronts this sense of dual identity that comes from being a part of a diasporic culture. His work GLOVES is representative of how cultural performance is put on and taken off. Rio states that it symbolizes, “the futile fight between seemingly conflicting identities, and how nationalism—in relation to sports like boxing—leads to a sense of community, especially in the Philippine diaspora.”
As a part of his recent project, Naturalization, Aaron Wax investigates the life of his grandfather, a Polish Jew who moved to the United States prior to WWII. The series is intended to reconstruct his grandfather’s life and the tragic experiences shared through oral histories. The result reflects the flawed nature of memory—a new narrative put together by Wax from what he accumulated second-hand from other relatives. This exhibition features three photographs from this series: Portrait, Naturalization, and Wallet.
“This exhibition allows artists to authentically tell their stories and to encourage dialogue with the viewer, who may have similar experiences,” said Leslie Mounaime, Target Gallery director. “One in seven people in Washington, D.C. is an immigrant. In Virginia, it’s one in eight. We want to create a space for these voices, as we strive to make sure our whole community has an opportunity to be reflected in the work that we do.”
Passages runs Saturday, January 27, through Sunday, March 4, 2018. The public reception will be Second Thursday, February 8, 6 – 8 pm, with Opsina’s comments at 7 pm.
About the Juror
Adriana Ospina has worked at the Art Museum of the Americas for the past years as Permanent Collection Curator since early 2014 and Educational Program Manager since 2008. She has worked with, and now oversees, the museum’s historic Latin-American Art Archives and permanent collection of art. She has curated exhibitions such as Fusion: Tracing Asian Migration to the Americas through AMA’s Collection (2013), currently being expanded as a travelling exhibition, and Femininity Beyond Archetypes: Photography by Natalia Arias (2014). Currently, Ospina is working is editing a book about AMA Permanent Collection and curating the exhibition Cultural Encounters in conjunction with International Arts & Artists. Additionally, she is working on the Documents of 20th-Century Latin American and Latino Art: A Digital Archive and Publications Project with the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. Adriana is a Colombian art historian; holds an M.A. in Art History from George Mason University; and has been a presenter at the Latin American Studies Association Conference, at the College Art Association Conference and at the Association of Art Historians Conference. She is also part of the advisory committee of the permanent collection at the IDB.
- Monday-Wednesday: 10am – 6pm
- Thursdays: 10am – 9pm
- Friday-Sunday: 10am – 6pm
Torpedo Factory is located at 105 N. Union St., Alexandria, VA.