Gelare Khoshgozaran (artist) , Jimena Sarno (artist), Ting Ying Han (artist), Camella DaEun Kim (curator), Kim Ye (artist), Yoshie Sakai (artist), Ann Le (artist).
Location: Mandarin Plaza, Coffee Hall Chinatown. [photo Camella DaEun Kim] Artist Kim Ye discussing her artwork, Jimena Sarno, Gelare Khoshgozaran. Artwork: We Did It Together (2013), Kim Ye. Location: Mandarin Plaza, Coffee Hall Chinatown. Camella DaEun Kim (curator), Kyungmi Shin (artist), Ting Ying Han (artist). Artwork: Exterior World of Internal Mind (2017) & It Passed and We Stay (2013) by Ting Ying Han. [photo Camella DaEun Kim] Image from L – R: Tiffany Mok, Anthony Arcinas, Lisa Lee, Martin Ma, Florence Ma, James Lhi, Jasmine, Ann Le, Daniel Zacharczuk.
The foreigner lives within us: he is the hidden face of our identity, the space that wrecks ourabode, the time in which understanding and affinity founder. The ‘foreigner’ then is something hidden in ourselves, something with the potential to destroy ‘home’ and something that is beyond ‘understanding’ or relations with each other. —Strangers to Ourselves, Julia Kristeva
The title of this group show, Aliens with Extraordinary Abilities, is a direct reference to O-1 visa approved by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services to individuals who are classified as “aliens” possessing extraordinary ability in arts, science, education, business, or athletics, or who has a demonstrated extraordinary achievement in the motion picture or television industries.
Despite having interest to take part in commonly shared discussions on “assimilation versus integration,” “race versus ethnicity,” “mainstream culture versus subculture,” or “economically motivated immigration versus politically motivated evacuation,” this show is compelled to observe the dialectical process that wages within the outsiders struggling to come to terms with their social environment.
While the eight artists in the show possess distinct backgrounds and manifest disparate approaches to art, each identifies herself as a “stranger,” oscillating between being an insider and an outsider by virtue of her individuality within her own circumstances. Drawing on personal experiences related to diaspora, race, gender, queerness, and social constraints, each artist’s work subverts and confronts the negative connotations of life as a foreigner.
Furthermore, both the curator and artists collaborated by playing both roles. As a whole, Aliens with Extraordinary Abilities amalgamates works ranging from photography, video, sculpture, and sound, site-specific installations. Together, they are collectively curated to touch on the ideas of ‘home’ and expand on the paradigm of the forever immigrant with multiple places of belonging, out of places or with no place to call ‘home’.