“Present Tense 2017: New Urban Legend- Resistance of Space"
41 Ross Alley, San Francisco, California, USA
2017｜17/5 - 16/7
Sightlines Zine #1
About the exhibition //
In the latest iteration of the "Present Tense" exhibition series, curators and artists from the Bay Area to China engage with local communities in an exploration of urban spaces and the issues embedded in them.
The exhibition will feature four site-specific projects that includes virtual reality, video, photography, and objects from works by Bay Area artists @westonteruya and @laurabolesfaw, as well as two large scale projects from China involving more than 25 artists. The exhibition is curated by CCC Assistant Curator Ziying Duan and overseen by CCC artistic director and curator Abby Chen.
Oakland-based artist Weston Teruya contributes video documentation of a ritualistic performance in two parts entitled Ground. Ground uses the tragic legacy of San Francisco’s I-Hotel to examine geography, power, history, and displacement. Referencing the sledgehammer that Sheriff Hongisto used to break down a tenant’s door during the 1977 eviction of 196 residents on the edge of Chinatown, Teruya created and then destroyed handmade paper sculptural construction tools in performances at the site of the I-Hotel and other historic and present day places of displacement that took place earlier this year. Teruya’s project imagines a metaphorical inversion, where instead of reshaping the landscape, the landscape reshapes the tools.
San Francisco artist Laura Boles Faw’s project Towards a Prosthetic Power: Day One, One Day imagines alternative images of power for populations that often feel disenfranchised in the current economic, social, and political climate. Faw constructed wearable, absurdist beards inspired by those found on sculptures of female Egyptian pharaoh Hatshepsut. Playing with the farcical nature of the way ideas of power and access are communicated in public, Faw asked a wide variety of Chinatown locals and other residents to wear the beards and pose for photos, which she then projected on to public monuments and structures in San Francisco. Faw’s act of monumentalizing and historicizing individuals within a community of equals strives for visibility and access and points to the absurdity of doing otherwise. Video documentation of the project will be on view.
Gallery visitors experience Sightlines, a project initiated by co-curators Michelle Wong and Wei Leng Tay in Hong Kong, through virtual reality headsets. The project investigates how the places and sites we inhabit condition what and how we see, both physically and socially. The collaborators asked five Hong Kong artists—South Ho Siu Nam, Lam Kin Choi, Lam Wing Sze, and the duo C & G Artpartment (Clara Cheung and Gum Cheng) —to enter into an exchange of 360 degree images, reacting and responding to each other’s views. Their works explore Hong Kong’s crowded landscape, where sightlines are constantly interrupted by buildings, traffic, development, and demolition, and also consider ways to continue the vision of camaraderie forged in the pro-democracy Umbrella Movement protests of 2014. In addition to the virtual reality experience of the 360 degree works, the project will be represented in the gallery through photography and standard video.
Curator Man Yu’s social practice project Residents was carried out in the Pearl River Delta, an emerging metropolitan area in southern China, with collaborators Weiwei Liu and Hongbin Zheng. The Pearl River Delta was the first region of China involved in the great economic reform of the 1990s, experiencing most profoundly the benefits and consequences of rapid economic development. While the region has attracted much attention, its residents and their experiences have not. Yu enlisted eight artists and artistic groups in the area to develop projects in the public arena that address residents’ rights and living spaces. For his project Make Sea, artist Junyan He spent time at sea with the fishermen of Zhuhai to understand how the rapid development of that city was impacting the marine space. Artist Qiong Wu researches the identities of the unclaimed dead who are listed regularly on a government website. Other participating artists and collectives include Kai Fong Pai Dong, Lijiao Ma, LuWei HD Channel operations（Bill Peng, Nio, Yizhi Feng, Mi, Granting Lee, Peng Ou), Portrait of Speech Group (Yiwen Yu, Yujun Su, Shuqiang Wu), Sunset Haircut Booth (Xudong Yu, Yanming Li, Huansong Wu, Yuliang He), and the Research Group of Self-Build in Urban Villages (Zhiqiang Xu, Jieqi Chen, Yifan Zeng, Zhennan Li, Qiuying Lu, Xiaolan Lu). Documentation of these projects will be on view in the gallery.