Curation is an art. Finding the special mix of meaning and visual is often a rare occurrence. So when an idea floats into my consciousness, I often question its relevance and meaning. Devotion of time is a commitment. My job is to make the best effort possible for a worthwhile concept.
In 2010, I curated an exhibit titled FACTOR XX at the Art Museum of Los Gatos to provide a positive platform for nonfigurative female artists. The experience included a public art talk with artists moderated by Cathy Kimball, Executive Director and Chief Curator of San Jose Institute of Contemporary Art. The artists showcased were diverse in life experience and academic backgrounds.
Memories include visiting studios with the late artist Susan O’Malley. With oranges and homemade cookies for fuel, she provided guidance and advice for the FACTOR XX concept. During the opening reception, Susan gently guided her mother Lupita slowly describing artworks. The amazing Catherine Politopoulos was the Art Museum of Los Gatos curator that made FACTOR XX possible. While Susan, Lupita, and Catherine are no longer present in a physical form, their support lives on.
Six years later, I’ve started working on a new project titled CONNECT. The concept is to showcase the shared connections between China and the United States of America through art. The goal is to highlight intercultural discovery and promote how art bridges humanity. Art erases borders and needs no translation.
In November 2015, I visited China for the first time part of an exhibit, tour, and symposium in Shanghai. The experience united cultures. In May 2016, I traveled back for a Shanghai Oil Painting & Sculpture Institute Museum exhibit with fellow Chinese professors. With each new experience, the people become family and the country a second home.
As an educator at the Academy of Art University graduate school, I’ve taught many students from all over the world including China, Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan. The co-curator for CONNECT is Qianhui De. She is my former Academy of Art University student, artist, and curator living in Beijing. Qianhui offers invaluable guidance that is balanced with an honest and authentic perspective.
As CONNECT shapes and develops a new narrative, I will remember the trailblazing women that were supportive in previous pursuits. Their legacy will live on. My job is to continue that dialogue with a new generation. A good request indeed.