Ruth Eckland, Monroe Hodder, Fred Hodder, Roadside Mystics
December 13 2016 - January 7 2017
Roadside Mystics is a collaborative project by video artist Ruth Eckland, painter Monroe Hodder, and photographer Fred Hodder.
Hodder and Eckland create contemporary archetypes of women, exploring identity with interplay of paint and light. Hodder’s paintings frame Eckland’s animations to create images that blend, dissolve, and transform. The abstract becomes figurative as the figurative morphs into pattern within an undulating loop amplified by music. The psychedelic and erotic themes are reminiscent of early 1970’s Animerama (アニメラマ), a cutting-edge Japanese feature film trilogy set to jazz piano that explores the female form through swirling pans of panoramic watercolor paintings.
Hodder’s paintings are complex abstractions of motifs and texture. Opposing surfaces reflect human behavior and express the dichotomy of coexistence. Eckland’s videos show women in unusual pursuits as they exert their identity one minute and sink into the folds of Hodder’s canvas the next. If a maze of painted patterns represents the complexities of women’s lives, then projections of moving images illuminate these complexities, providing a searchlight to discover meaning in chaos.
Lightbox images by Fred Hodder combine urban photography with Monroe Hodder’s paintings. Layers of colorful brushstrokes are composited with black and white photographs within light-boxes, infusing familiar cityscapes with surreal elements.
About the Artists
Ruth Eckland has exhibited throughout the USA and internationally, connecting with viewers in countries as diverse as Costa Rica, Kazakhstan, Germany, Singapore, Turkey, The Czech Republic, United Kingdom, Israel, Cyprus, South Korea, and China. Her work seems to communicate a universal language that touches what Eckland recognizes as “a global core.” As Kenneth Baker, art critic for The San Francisco Chronicle, has said in one of his many reviews of Eckland’s work, “Eckland handles video like the medium of collective dreams that we share without knowing it. Apparently she wants us to know it.”
Monroe Hodder has lived and worked in London, Amsterdam, Indonesia, and Kazakhstan, exhibiting her paintings both internationally and in the USA. She received her MFA from the San Francisco Art institute and has since pursued her dedication to painting. Hodder’s work is now in numerous museums, corporate, and private collections. She has been selected as a Visiting Artist at the American Academy in Rome on four occasions and received a Permanent Artists’ Visa from the British government in 2005. Now living in New York, she enjoys working out of her studio at MANA Contemporary in Jersey City and recently completed several solo exhibitions in Chelsea, NYC.
Fred Hodder exhibited his photographic series “New York Now” and regularly shows his work of composited cityscapes and panoramas throughout the New York area. He is represented by Michael Warren Contemporary in Denver, Colorado.
Composer Matt DiFonzo has collaborated with Ruth Eckland for many years, scoring her videos and immersive installations to create atmosphere and subtext for the images.
Paz Perlman, Jo Confino, Call and Response
December 1 - December 8 2016
Call & Response is a collaboration between visual artist Paz Perlman and journalist/photographer Jo Confino. This exhibition explores impermanence, vulnerability, and decay through the lens of an intimate relationship.
Perlman and Confino engage in an ongoing conversation as creative collaborators who are also married to one another. For the past decade, the couple has been practicing with Vietnamese Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh and creating work that meditates on transience as well as challenges mainstream perceptions of value.
Perlman draws on her childhood years in Israel for inspiration. She makes art to heal hidden traces of scars left behind by time and events. Her exploration is expressed through scavenging discarded materials to create sculptures and collages. These ruins are transformed into talismans that speak to the continuous process of destruction and rebirth.
“I am particularly interested in the concept of the void,” Perlman says. “Not just as a metaphoric black hole of the unknown, but as a space of infinite potential. I often express this via the minimalistic gesture of ruin-like grid structures, which also highlight imperfection and the collapse of linear time.”
Confino has been a leader in the field of sustainability for over a decade, writing about issues of social and environmental justice that are often ignored. His photography complements this editorial focus by highlighting objects that people often dismiss. Through his work, Confino redefines beauty and illustrates the monumental scale small objects assume when they are drawn to our close attention.
About the Artists
Paz Perlman is a visual artist based in New York. She exhibits internationally and previously lived in the UK, where she completed her degree in fine arts at Central St Martins, University of Arts.
Jo Confino is an Executive Editor at The Huffington Post. He previously worked for 23 years as a Senior Editor at The Guardian in London. This is his first exhibition of photography in New York.
Liska Chan, Chinatown Invisible
November 15 - November 23 2016
Chinatown Soup presents “Chinatown Invisible” an exhibition of abstracted cartography by professor, theorist, and artist Liska Chan. Mapmaking as creative practice assumes refreshing resonance in a time of turmoil. Last Tuesday, a map of red and blue states revealed divides within our nation. A major takeaway from this result: Place matters. As Americans try to make sense of the presidential election and subsequent social revolution, we turn from our government to our streets. Communities across the country are protesting threats to their way of life. On the border of Chinatown and the Lower East Side, downtown New York is experiencing unprecedented development and corresponding cultural shifts that are bringing people of the city's most intermingled district into conversation about changes. Where to next? While there is no roadmap to navigate environmental, social, and political chaos, understanding how we got here might be a good place to start.
This exhibit uses mapping and drawing to reveal how the contemporary Chinatown landscape is a palimpsest of pivotal events and patterns in American history. The story begins 400-years ago in a Lenape village on the banks of a freshwater pond that we now consider part of Chinatown. Dutch settlers of New Amsterdam were swiftly claiming this landscape and named the freshwater pond “Collect” (after “Calck,” the Dutch word for chalk, in reference to the oyster shell middens populating the pond’s banks).
By the turn of the 19th Century, New York City had expanded north of its original walls. In 1811, the same year our city’s grid was mapped for the first time, the pond was polluted with waste from tanneries and slaughterhouses, drained, and filled. Within 50 years, this new acreage became known as “Five Points,” a crowded home to thousands of Irish, Jewish, and German immigrants and hundreds of previously enslaved African Americans. Two centuries later, many of Five Point’s original tenements haunt the heart of Chinatown. Evidence of this district’s history is barely perceptible, yet relics of the past including an African burial ground, bubbling springs, and the unsettled ground of its landfill imbue present ecological and social questions with a density of meaning. Themes presented are ponds, streets, springs, horizon lines, burial, expansion, submersion, and segregation.
About the Artist Elisabeth 'Liska' (Clemence) Chan is an Associate Professor of Landscape Architecture at the University of Oregon where she teaches design studios, theory and media classes. She received her Masters of Landscape Architecture from Cornell University (2000) and a Bachelor of Arts in American landscape studies and biology from Hampshire College (1993).
Her creative practice resides in two distinct areas, representation and landscape reclamation, and most of her projects tie the two areas together. Using cultural theory and art theory as a point of departure, her work explores methods for communicating and working, and the disconnect and tension created in the translation from drawing to landscape. Most of the sites and projects with which she tests questions of representation are environmentally marginalized urban sites in need of remediation.
Chioke Nassor, a geographic survey of my sex life
November 3 - November 10 2016
A site-specific installation about the sex life of Chioke Nassor.
Chioke Nassor is a writer/director of feature films (“How to Follow Strangers”), television (“Late Night with Seth Meyers,” “Loosely Exactly Nicole”) and documentaries (“Minor/Major: The TV on the Radio Tour Documentary).
Shani Shi, Graham Boyle, Brittany Boveri, Craig Weatherby, Alfredo Martinez, #OKFORU
October 28 - October 31 2016
Make America #OKFORU Again encourages protest of current injustices. Highlights of the exhibition include the OKFORU zine by Julia Morrison, works by five visual artists from NY and DC, poetry, and live postcard-making.
OKFORU is a pro-democracy, anti-exploitation zine and street art project that asks: What is and is not OK for you?
OKFORU asserts that there is nothing to fear but complacency. Julia believes that the first step to meaningful change is an open dialogue without fear, shame, or retribution. When asked about what inspired her to create OKFORU, Julia says, “I grew up 'in the system,' not like Rage Against the Machine style (which I most certainly am), but like foster care and a variety of other difficult housing situations...I have sought avenues my entire life to empower myself. Today I wish to help others find their voice.”
OKFORU brings people together to write and decorate pre-stamped postcards to government officials, intellectuals, business owners, the media, or anyone else with power in a situation that could be improved or reimagined. Julia says, “Why free? Because there is too much money in politics and people shouldn’t have to pay in order to be heard.”
Following its New York debut at Chinatown Soup, Make America #OKFORU Again will travel to the Union Arts warehouse, the last collective artist space of its kind in Washington, D.C. Here, the exhibit will call attention to the protests of artists, residents, and patrons in opposition to the development of a boutique hotel conversion, which would decrease artist workspaces from 40 studios to eight. Union Arts has been home to 100 artists for over a decade, serving as both a haven and a stimulus for creativity.
James Evans, Salad Daze
October 13 - October 20 2016
“Salad Daze” is New York-based artist James Evans’ first solo show. The term ‘Salad Days’ is a reference to youthful idealism and inexperience coined by Shakespeare’s Cleopatra and repurposed by 1980s punk bands. James identified with the uncertainty and cultural naiveté this expression calls to mind as he created the works for this show.
Tragic events of the last few years have dominated headlines and suggest a lack of compassion in how we judge and interact with those around us. Sensationalized reactions expose a general ignorance to the history behind current issues and an undercurrent of aggression that we as a society prefer to ignore.
“Salad Daze” intends to explore the mentality that creates a public imprint of sociopolitical disaster. On an individual level, many of us don’t know how to reckon with macro tragedies, whether to celebrate or vilify visible people, or question the ideologies that sell us products we consume to survive with the hope of living. This work was made to reference these shared uncertainties.
James Evans is a multi-disciplinary artist based in Brooklyn. He curated two recent group shows “Thankyou” and “Yourewelcome,” bringing together photographers, illustrators, and conceptual artists. Both shows were featured by a wide range of art and fashion outlets including Milk, Oyster, Opening Ceremony, Complex, and BFA.
Following these experiences, James was offered a residency at the Ace Hotel to paint. His residency ran in conjunction with the release of his ‘New Yorkers’ print at the hotel’s Opening Ceremony outpost. He continues to enjoy contributing art direction and design services to notable fashion houses and agencies around New York.
Lucia Del Sanchez, Zach Krall, Holly Harrell, Emma McCann, Giovanna Olmos, Harrison Curley, Slipper When Wet
October 4 - October 11 2016
"The body is always someone's body.
It is experienced or 'lived.'
My body signifies me in a unique way.
It announces and proclaims my existence with authenticity.
Here I am - body and flesh!"
- Carol Collier
An art show exploring the body as vessel, relic, and experience.
Yang Yi, First Responders
Asian American Arts Centre
September 10 - September 30 2016
The Asian American Arts Centre (AAAC) presents First Responders, featuring the work of artist Yang Yi. Presented in collaboration with Chinatown Soup and in partnership with Chinatown Partnership Local Development Corporation (CPLDC), this special exhibition marks the anniversary of September 11, 2001. AAAC is proud to present this body of work as both a commemoration and celebration of the American spirit embodied by all New Yorkers whose response to the events of that day will forever mark our national memory.
Yi’s pentaptych took five years to complete and pays tribute to the brave members of the FDNY and paramedics. Reminiscent of San Francisco’s Coit Tower, decorated by Diego Rivera-inspired muralists in homage to public service workers and racial equality, Yi’s paintings feature all 343 faces of the first responders who were killed at the World Trade Center 15 years ago. This year, we come together to remember 'city as community' and question how we might build upon that feeling in today's New York.
About the Artist Yang Yi, 59, came to the United States from China in 1995, and he was soon able to make a living drawing caricatures in Central Park. Following the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, passersby would show Yi photos of loved ones who had lost their lives and ask him to create portraits. In 2010, Yi saw a mural on the side of the Flushing firehouse that inspired him to paint a tribute of his own. Working out of his small apartment in Flushing, Queens, Yi took five years to create the five canvases presented. A portrait artist by trade, Yi deviated from his usual practice to create a tableau of events and symbols from the city’s most difficult days. Images of debris-covered survivors, the American flag flying above the wreckage, and faces in various stages of response.
Reverend Jen, Reverend Jen's Troll Museum Resurrection
August 16 - August 30 2016
Chinatown Soup is pleased to present the resurrection of a recently lost neighborhood landmark with art, performances, and special guests. On September 16, 2000, "it elf” author, columnist, playwright, filmmaker, open mic host and underground movie star, Reverend Jen, launched the first (and only) Troll Museum in her six-floor walk-up on Orchard Street. What happened next was nothing short of spectacular! Droves of troll doll fans and curious visitors flocked, attracting press from around the world to her tiny studio.
The Troll Museum quickly solidified its iconic status as dark days befell the Lower East Side. Reverend Jen reports, “Gentrification took hold, and our neighborhood's quirky village of theaters and art stars quickly became a strip mall for douchebags.” Following this unwelcome influx, a massive steam pipe explosion destroyed half of the museum’s collection and almost killed Jen's beloved Chihuahua, Rev. Jen Junior. Despite these setbacks, the Troll Museum persevered.
Almost two decades later, extreme life circumstances found Jen and Junior evicted and homeless. The court allowed six hours to retrieve 21 years worth of items from the once resplendent Troll Museum. A team of artists took what they could, but where to put it? Soup stepped in to preserve and celebrate this precious local archive. For two weeks, we will host paintings, prints, Trolls, performances, and special activities featuring free art school with the Reverend, an iTunes audio tour with an intro by pop star (and longstanding Troll Museum patron) Moby plus picnics, proms, and parades. Everyone is invited. Let's keep downtown weird.
About Rev. Jen Reverend Jen is a performer, painter, playwright, columnist, Troll Museum founder, underground movie star, open mic host, and elf. She’s contributed to Artnet, Nerve, and Penthouse. Her books include June (Art Star Scene Press, 2015) BDSM 101 (Skyhorse, 2013), Elf Girl (Simon & Schuster, 2011) Live Nude Elf: the Sexperiments of Reverend Jen (Soft Skull Press, 2009), and Reverend Jen's Really Cool Neighborhood (Printed Matter, 2003). Her handcrafted books can be found at the Whitney Museum of American Art, the MoMA Library, and The Warhol Museum.
Jen has performed and lectured in England, Germany, and all over the U.S.A. Her live action TV show "Reverend Jen's Really Cool Neighborhood" was voted best off-off-off Broadway Musical Comedy Theater by The Village Voice and her former cable access show, The Adventures of Electra Elf, which she wrote and starred in, is available in a 22-episode box set from MVD. Jen is the founder of "ASS Studios”—the world's most underfunded Motion Picture Studio—which released ASS's first feature film "Satan, Hold My Hand" in 2014. Jen's second feature, "Werewolf Bitches from Outer Space" is complete and set to premiere shortly.
Last month, Reverend Jen, Rev. Jen Junior, and Tenney (the cat) were evicted from the world's only Troll Museum in downtown New York. The three are now homeless and staying with friends in parts unknown.
Stugazi, Easily Amused, Graves LTD, Strike Gently Co, Suspect LTD, Bracelegs Collective, Cat Coven, Tough Times Press, Weird Empire, ZZA NYC, Pinpoint.co, The Pin & Patch Show
August 2 - August 9 2016
Join us for the opening of the Pin & Patch Show, a showcase of New York’s finest pin and patch companies. For the first time since the advent of Instagram, ten makers will assemble oustide of their DM community to discover the human behind the handle. They will meet IRL at Chinatown Soup on Tuesday evening. Each brand has created a custom canvas to showcase their favorite pieces, which are for sale while supplies last.
Featured Makers: Stugazi, Easily Amused, Graves LTD, Strike Gently Co, Suspect LTD, Bracelegs Collective, Cat Coven, Tough Times Press, Weird Empire, ZZA NYC, Pinpoint.co
Tröegs Independent Brewing, Cut & Taste
Brooklyn Collage Collective
July 12 - July 26 2016
Chinatown Soup invites you to celebrate a collaboration between one of our favorite artists and an art-conscious company. If you’ve walked the streets of downtown New York below Houston Street, then you’ve passed by a Jay Riggio tag. Tröegs has worked with accomplished artists from across the country, including larger-than-life Philadelphia muralist Isaiah Zagar, surrealist Boston glassblower Stephanie Chubbuck, Harrisburg found-object sculptor Jason Lyons, and award-winning sculptor, photographer and mixed-media artist Ryan Upp of Cleveland.
The company first teamed-up with Brooklyn-based collage artist Jay Riggio for its springtime Art of Tröegs project, which asked friends and fans to create works of art from the brewery’s bottlecaps, cans, and labels. Jay’s piece—an upended landscape featuring a Hollywood pinup, prehistoric monuments, and dozens of tiny cutouts from DreamWeaver Wheat and Perpetual IPA labels—will hang in the new Art of Tröegs gallery, opening on July 14th at the Hershey, PA brewery.
Works on display at Chinatown Soup will include an array of mixed media from all nine members of the Brooklyn Collage Collective, to which Jay belongs. BCC members will also craft limited edition summer postcards that incorporate elements of signature Tröegs packaging.
“We love getting together with creative kindred spirits,” says John Trogner, co-founder of Tröegs Independent Brewery. “It’s going to be a blast putting on a show with Jay and the Brooklyn Collage Collective on their home turf.”
About the Brooklyn Collage Collective The BCC is a collective of collage artists from Brooklyn and beyond. Founded by Morgan Jesse Lappin and Lizzie Gill, the group has been growing steadily since 2013. The collective began with the mission to work together to push the broadening definition of collage through collaborative exhibitions, live collaging events, education, and dialogues.
About Tröegs Independent Brewing Founded in central Pennsylvania in 1996, Tröegs is a brewery for people with a sense of adventure and curiosity. Taking bits and pieces of brewing tradition, Tröegs has created some of the most sought-after beers in America, including Nugget Nectar, Mad Elf, and Troegenator. Its Hershey, PA brewery includes a Tasting Room, Snack Bar, General Store, Art Gallery, and tours. Visit www.troegs.com to see what's brewing.
Zhenzhen Qi, Yang Wang, LENNA
June 16 - June 23 2016
Chinatown Soup invites you to meet LENNA, an autonomous, computer-run consciousness created by husband-and-wife team Zhenzhen Qi and Yang Wang. Their work immerses humans in tech-space simulations that erase boundaries between the digital and the real. Together with technologist Harry Chiu-Hao Chen, the couple conceived a custom-written software that types code, compiles it, and generates random backgrounds and typography that are printed on A4 papers via Inkjet. Audiences are asked to observe the monitor screen, cursor movement, keypad tapping, and printer processing as behavioral characteristics of a new sentient being. Prints produced throughout the exhibition are available for purchase at prices named by visiting guests.
Qi and Wang’s LENNA joins Stanley Kubrick’s Hal and Spike Jonze’s Samantha in our post-modern questioning of how we coexist with machines, but moves a step further by bringing creators and users into direct dialogue with an IRL AI. “Lenna” is the name given to a standard test image widely used in the field of image processing that derives from a picture of Lena Söderberg, shot by photographer Dwight Hooker and cropped from the November 1972 Playboy centerfold. Since then, the ambiguities of art, design, creativity, and value are increasingly complicated by each generation’s progression towards a virtual singularity that our technologies advance both as creative tools and consumer products. But wherein lies the art? LENNA may be a pangender mute, but its presence is enough to make us consider a multiverse of answers.
About the Artists
YANG WANG is a New York-based multimedia artist, designer, and programmer. Wang’s work includes performance, video, and installations assisted by digital technologies that use surrealistlanguage to capture the antinomy of the fast transforming ideologies of his generation. He holds a BFA of Aesthetic Design from the University of Science and Technology, Beijing, and a Master’s degree of the Interactive Telecommunication Program ( ITP ) from the Tisch School of Arts at New York University.
ZHENZHEN QI is a new media artist and educator. She teaches at the Performing Arts Department of Baruch College and is a doctoral candidate of Columbia University’s Art Education Program. She is interested in new media art as a tool for self-knowledge.
HARRY CHIU-HAO CHEN is a creative technologist based in New York. He has extensive experience building human-centered design projects for Disney Connected & Advanced Technology (DCAT), IDEO, Perch Interactive etc. He designed and implemented the mouse and keyboard virtual input system for LENNA.
The artists would like to thank Michelle Marie Esteva of Chinatown Soup, Joygill Moriah of Happenings Contemporary, Fangyu Yang of Magic Leap, professor Daniel Shiffman of ITP at NYU Tisch School of the Arts, and the Open Processing community for their invaluable input and support.
Richard DeCosmis, Richard DeCosmis: The Silent Man
June 1 - June 11 2016
Chinatown Soup presents Richard DeCosmis: The Silent Man, an exhibition of never-before-seen work that pays tribute to a father, veteran, and artist.
Richard DeCosmis: The Silent Man remembers a veteran who fought in WWII and discovers an artist who passed away a year ago. Serving as a police officer for the rest of his career, DeCosmis expressed tragedy through secret experimentation with sculpture and oil paint, resulting in a body of work that blurs the lines of reality. His family discovered his artistic talent and 119 works in a garage after his death.
Richard Decosimis was a New Jersey native whose practice focuses on drawing, painting, and sculpture. His works teeter between the figurative, the literal, and the abstract.
Ida Ivanka Kubler, Transcending, physical
May 13 - May 21 2016
Chinatown Soup is delighted to present “Ida Ivanka Kubler: Transcending, physical”, an exhibition of new work from the artist’s well-traveled series, “The Birth of an Idea” accompanied by mixed media sculptures, paintings, and sketches. An opening reception will take place on May 13th from 6-9PMwith collaborative programming on the 19th in observance of May as Mental Health Month.
Growing up on a silk sericulture farm in rural Bulgaria shaped Kubler’s creative practice. “I must have been around five-years old, sitting under one of the trees in my grandparents’ mulberry forest, when I discovered silk cocoons,” Kubler recalls from inside her current Chinatown studio (coincidentally a block from Mulberry Street), where she is surrounded by rectangular painted canvases featuring sculpted and colored silk cocoon mandalas from her “Birth of an Idea” series. The mandala image is a symbol associated with healing powers of the Sacred Feminine that catalyzed psychic awakening dating back to the Apollonian Oracle of Delphi. In this sense, Kubler’s repurposed chrysalides become talismans of biological transformation that channel ancient rituals of inspiration—fitting for an artist whose grandmother emigrated from neighboring Greece.
Silk worms pass their lives in a state of silent spinning. After they consume mulberry leaves, the worms turn over 10,000 times for ten days to produce the wispy white shells that Kubler reclaims for her work. Unlike traditional silk production that kills growing moths in utero, she respects the full-circle creation cycle and waits until the moths leave their cocoons to lay eggs before collecting them as art materials. Kubler’s sensitivity to the consciousness of these creatures echoes the intention of her practice. “I insist that my artworks do not convey meanings but instead awake feelings,” Kubler says. “Feelings are stronger than meanings, as meanings reduced to words are often futile. I aim to introduce to the viewer the passion of tactile experience, which I feel when I am producing. So the artworks are filled with sensualities and possibilities. I name them half-objects.”
The resulting half-object paintings are kaleidoscopic—at once geometric and ordered but also subversive in their use of color. This immersive aesthetic combines with the works’ sculptural elements to elicit what Kubler calls “imaginative touch.” Visual and visceral freedom begets spatial freedom, and, as Kubler’s dual-perspective artist signature suggests, her works are meant to hang horizontally, vertically, on the ceiling, floating in the air and as singles or in groups. After birth, comes play. The experiential effect of Kubler’s work is recognized by many and included in the "Placebos for Art" project undertaken by the Behring Institute for Medical Research in the Netherlands that seeks to improve people’s health through art.
Ida Ivanka Kubler is an artist living and creating in Chinatown, New York. She has exhibited in Bulgaria, Germany, France, UK, Norway, and elsewhere in the USA. Her work can be found in collections around the world. Kubler attended the National Academy of Arts, Sofia, Bulgaria, the University of Applied Arts, Bielefeld, Germany and the Chelsea College of Art and Design, London, UK.
Sarah Kennedy, Phoebe Randall, Harlie Rush, Nora Normile, Bergen Hendrickson, Pietà
May 5 - May 6 2016
The Pieta (meaning “pity” in Italian) is the well-established Christian image or sculpture depicting Jesus Christ in the lap of his mother, the Virgin Mary, after he has been crucified. As an emblem of suffering and devotion, and hope of resurrection and salvation personified in Mary, the composition has been copied, reinterpreted and re-contextualized extensively throughout art history—perhaps the most famous example being Michelangelo’s marble Pietà, completed in 1499.
In our exhibition, doubling as a final project following a course called Exhibition Systems and Curating led by Meleko Mokgosi, and co-taught by Greater New York 2015 curator Mia Lockes, we intend to curate a show based on the convention of the pietà as an iconographic and formal point of departure.
Instead of proposing a ‘new pieta’ to revitalize what has been established within the realm of the art historical, we propose this iconographic object as an aperture for a wide, eclectic archetypal field. We will explore contemporary representations of the mother- son relationship, grief, salvation, collaboration, and, in particular, the complexity of the Mary-Christ relationship. The Virgin is simultaneously Christ’s mother and child and in the moment she embraces him she holds both his adult body and the memory of him as an infant, embodying a foreshadowing of his own fate.
In curating a body of works by contemporary artists, we will depart from the classical symbolic implications of the pietà form in an attempt to curate a lyrical whole which considers even the most literal aspects of the form, eg., a seated sculpture. Therefore, the organizing principle will be a collection of works that reflect all aspects of the pietà, literal and metaphorical, hopeful and macabre, personal and allegorical.
Enfants du Pays
April 28 - May 1 2016
Chinatown Soup is pleased to present Enfants du Pays, an exhibition of multimedia work by twelve artists from seven different countries curated by featured artist Nelson Niyakire. Enfants du Pays opens on Thursday, April 28th with a reception taking place from 5pm to 7pm.
Enfants du Pays is a project initiated by young Burundians from different walks of life in opposition to the civil violence that has plagued their homeland over the past year. In April 2015, Burundiâ€™s president Pierre Nkurunziza overrode the countryâ€™s constitution in order to pursue a third term in office, which resulted in widespread peaceful protest. Protestors were met with armed opposition from government police, leading to the deaths of more than 1,000 civilians and the mass exodus of about 250,000 Burundians.
Inspired by the stories of those who lost their lives, Enfants du Pays is a memorialization of the toil and unrest taking place on Burundian soil. This traveling exhibition will be shown in big cities all over the world to spread awareness of the Burundian plight, telling the stories of those who lost their lives and raising funds for the victimsâ€™ families. The exhibitionâ€™s opening on April 28th will commemorate exactly a year since Nkurunziza seized power and demonstrations began.
How Much, April 12 - April 24 2016
How Much is the first in a series of curatorial projects about the perception of value and its relationship to craft practice. Presented by Australian curator and jeweler Alex Darby, the exhibition brings together artists who are actively challenging our expectations about jewelryâ€™s role and place in our culture. The opening reception will be held on Thursday April 14th from 6-8PM.
This exhibition questions whether the functional form of jewelry and its ability to operate independently from an exhibition context makes it cease to exist as â€œart". In a shout-out to the gross price inflation of the contemporary art market, Darby critiques assigned values of luxury materials by adopting a price structure that is divorced from monetary and social valuations.
Joining Darby is contemporary artist Miriam Simun, whose work poses questions to perceived progress through a critical investigation of social, technological, and environmental change; and experimental art group HE+HU, made up of artist couple Wei He & Naishu Hu, who employ food as their main medium, along with sculpture, installation, and performance to create participatory art events they call â€œAVENTâ€.
Together these artists reassess value by using unexpected materials and forgoing limitations associated with traditional jewelry-making practice. This exploration of jewelry as an art form questions the system of value that governs contemporary jewelry making and associated commodities. Doing so in New York Cityâ€”with its longstanding history of high-end jewelry productionâ€”adds further dimension to this inquiry.
Darby is an artist and curator whose practice is concerned with the intimate relationship people have with objects and the ways we understand materiality based on notions of value. Originally from Sydney, she now lives and works in NYC and holds a BA in Jewelry & Object Design, and an MA in Art History. In addition to her art practice, Alex works for NEW INC, the New Museumâ€™s incubator for arts, technology, and design and is engaged with their diverse community of artists and entrepreneurs.
Chinatown Soupâ€™s site history as a crafthouse in the old Lower East Side makes it the perfect location for this exhibition. The gallery will host a panel Can we make craft in New York? on Thursday April 21st at 7PM that features the artists in conversation with thematics of their work.
The panel and exhibition will be accompanied by an interactive online catalog that can be found at howmuch.online.
Edward Ubiera, Edward Ubiera: Objectives
March 30 - April 7, 2015
With special guest sounds by Symbolized.
"Edward Ubiera: Objectives" culls 64 new works by the artist that explore the polysemic meaning of the exhibition’s title: art as object, art as objectification, and the art objective. The exhibition is a survey of the artist’s experimentation with form, his manipulation of images, and his own struggle with artistic purpose.
Ubiera’s recent sculptures participate in a body of work that plays with form and function. Sculptures, clocks, busts - all are animated objects with visceral movements and look as if they can be manipulated, adjusted, or positioned to take on different meanings and functions.
Ubiera’s "Playboy" series includes re-purposed Playboy ads from the 1970's into a contemporary 90's neon aesthetic. Scavenged from antique stores in the Berkshires, the magazines act in some cases as inspiration and in others as medium, each piece drawing from the magazine’s familiar motifs - nudes, cigarettes, blues performances - while diluting any vulgarities with playful colors and cut paper.
The artist’s black and white monochrome prints play with iconic images, such as the 1960's fashion photographer Richard Avedon’s "Miss Shrimpton in NASA Space Suit." The series' sometimes nostalgic imagery from the artists’ youth - space, horror movies, skate boarding - is complimented by more recent references to the Netflix television era.
Edward Ubiera is a Brooklyn-based artist working in drawing, painting, sculpture, and print-making. His practice focuses on illustration and collage that teeters between the figurative, the literal, and the abstract. This is his first solo show in New York.
Everett Kane, Invited to Tea
March 18 - March 26 2016
"Invited to Tea" refers to the practice of inviting dissidents to a sit-down as a pretext for detaining them. The exhibit (partially inspired by the Chinese government’s harassment of a participant in activities related to the gallery’s recent show, "Firewall" - find more on the story here) refracts censorship through the lens of an Orwellian computer graphics universe. Everett Kane’s portraits and videos study the skin of a culture that is routinely subjected to the coercion of media, social interactions, and politics. The work examines pain, emotion, violence, madness, torture and animal cruelty through hybridized subjects who have been flayed by the hidden brutalities of life. Kane draws influences from the Viennese Situationists, German Expressionism, Francis Bacon, and the Independent Group. His work deconstructs the photograph and cinema still as historical documents while indicting the viewer's complicity in the rituals which keep us in place. This is his first solo show in New York.
Joyce Yu-Jean Lee, Dan Phiffer, Firewall
February 8 - March 6, 2016
Will you participate in a social experiment? Visit Chinatown Soup to perform image searches at FIREWALL!
Video and installation artist Joyce Yu-Jean Lee, in collaboration with artist and technologist, Dan Phiffer, present a pop-up Internet Café installation that enables visitors to simultaneously search images on both Google in the U.S. and Baidu in China.
FIREWALL is a socially engaged research and interactive art project designed to foster public dialogue about online censorship and manipulation of information between these two countries.
In this cooperative performance, Lee explores a rapidly developing web culture, the nuances of language translation, and the notion that everything can be found on the Internet. The research results will be presented in two forms for viewers from both nations to compare, contrast, and cross-reference.
Special thanks to GreatFire for providing both Chinese Internet and human connections. GreatFire is a hacktivist group that has been monitoring blocked websites and keywords on the Chinese Internet since 2011 in an effort to bring transparency to the Great Firewall of China. GreatFire also operatesFreeWeibo, an uncensored version of Weibo, as well as FreeBrowser, an Android app that allows users in China to access any site, even those blocked by the government.
Special thanks also go to The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art for loaning hardware, and to uProxy for developing an open-source browser extension that lets users share their routes to the Internet with each other.
FIREWALL Internet Café NYC was made possible by the Asian Women Giving Circle and the Franklin Furnace Fund supported by Jerome Foundation, the Lambent Foundation, The SHS Foundation, and by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.
March 11 - March 14 2016
Lost Cat™ is a brand in search of answers. We question every aspect of business in our search for new ways of interacting with consumers. We believe a brand that is not afraid to stray from tradition can discover great new ones. Why are most retail spaces designed primarily for standing? To maximize traffic, low commitment entry, unrestrained browsing, & so on. But how beneficial are these to the retail experience? We hope to find out. Lost Cat™’s Sit-Down Shop juxtaposes retail products with a restaurant model. Requiring patrons to sit-down at a table & browse a menu of shirts, sweatshirts, & accessories. Once served by our waitstaff they can stay to enjoy our shop’s ambiance or request the check. This concept favors quality interactions with customers over quantity. Although it limits passive browsers, it will hopefully benefit enthusiastic customers with a more attentive experience. It also aims to maximize the amount of time customers spend in the shop, theoretically maximizing their potential purchase. The qualitative & quantitative results will be divulged in Lost Cat™’s 2016 Annual Report.