Fall 2009 - Winter 2010
In Between: The Tension and Attraction of Difference
9/29/09-4/15/10, evolving exhibition
Artists include: Marlene Angeja, Mei-chu Chang, Sam Hernandez, Bu Hua, Ken Lo, Abraham Menor, Minette Lee Mangahas, Penny Nii, Ricardo Richey, Lucy Sargeant, Imin Yeh, Xudong Yu, and more. Curatorial consultants included the artists along with Nancy Hom, Abby Chen, Robin Treen, Jianhua Shu, and others. Collaboration with the Chinese Culture Center, San Francisco.
In Between, the second inaugural exhibition in the new museum, was a gathering of artists who embrace "difference," do or see things in a fresh way, and change the game. Contemporary art practice, open-ended paintings of San Jose State University faculty Lucy Sargeant and Marlene Angeja, was combined with street art, technology, animation, music, and more. Longtime Santa Clara University Professor Sam Hernandez's large wall sculpture Dichos y Bichos includes a long list of folk wisdom in old instructive Palmer script, but in Spanish with no translation. Imin Yeh's traditional woodcut prints and installations open dialog on cultural and generational understanding, playing with subjects such as "good imports" and "student loans." Hawaiian-born Minette Lee Mangahas's Calligraffiti project exquisitely combines traditional (Zen) calligraphy with graffiti, at one point involving graffiti artists from around the country. Collaborator Ricardo Richey created a complementary front window painting. Abraham Menor photographs document hidden Bay Area and range from honoring community history and Filipino WWII veterans to catching a B Boy competition (The Art of War, 2009, Bboys presenting their skills at San José's largest bboy/bgirl event).
Collaboration with the Chinese Culture Center introduced art by two artists in China, part of the Center's Present Tense: Chinese Character exhibition: Bejing animator Bu Hua's short animation, Anxiety, and Yu Xudong's One Person's Parade, taking on China's "Parade law" and restrictions on free speech with a few simple signs.
A Special Projects area connected artists, college, and community to address the current education crisis in California, including youth activists who want healing, unity, and "schools not prisons," and the Euphrat Community Arts Mentorship Initiative (2009-10): Working with At-Risk Youth, collaborators/funders including Columbia Neighborhood Center, Silicon Valley Community Foundation, and Arts Council Silicon Valley.
Update on one of the artists, Penny Nii: