Fresh Perspectives After 50 Years

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Fresh Perspectives After 50 Years

Group Show

70 days to the ending

12 Nov - 6 Feb, 2022

Group Show

As USC PAM celebrates our 50th anniversary, we look to the future by asking questions and reflecting on our past as it is embodied in the museum’s collection and display of Asian and Pacific Island art. For whom was this collection created and how does its meaning change when seen through the eyes of our diverse communities? Intervention: Fresh Perspectives after 50 Years finds new ways to view the USC PAM permanent collection through the work of seven contemporary Asian diasporic artists: Antonius Bui, Audrey Chan, Jennifer Ling Datchuk, Amir Fallah, Akiko Jackson, Alan Nakagawa, and kate-hers RHEE. By creating original artworks in response to PAM’s collection, these artists will remind visitors that USC PAM’s history is complex, and our public has many ways to consider this story beyond how it is presented in our galleries, website, and printed materials./// In his newest painting, Fallah constellates the cultural symbols found on each artifact across the canvas to explore the intricate histories behind them. For example, Fallah reproduces an ancient Chinese dinner plate that included a depiction of a lion. The animal, Fallah learned, is not native to China but was introduced due to Persian cultural design and influence. The phoenix and dragon motifs were copied from snuff bottles created using middle eastern silversmithing techniques. Curious George, the monkey that appears in popular culture children’s books, represents Fallah’s desire to unearth the violent truth of the history of colonialism and racism in non-Western countries. Upon a deeper inspection, Fallah’s emblems trace a complicated trade history, demonstrating how surrounding Asian and Middle Eastern countries influenced one another and shaped the rest of the world. Measuring eight by twelve feet, this large-scale work continues the artist’s ongoing practice of demarcating paintings with a grid-like organization. Taking a cue from Persian miniature painting, elaborate borders meander across the canvas, dividing the canvas to create a non-hierarchical, non-illusionistic picture plane. The images in this work are flattened, layered, and stacked, calling attention to the psychological space of borders, identities, and histories. Typically, Fallah sources his imagery from online museum and library archives. For the first time, however, the artist collaborated directly with the curators and archivists at the Pacific Asia Museum to source and directly respond to the actual artifacts from the museum’s collection.

Artists

In this show

Amir H Fallah, Untitled, 2021, 0
2021 | Untitled

Amir H Fallah

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