BOTH SIDES NOW
Chinatown Soup is pleased to announce the opening of Both Sides Now, a multidisciplinary solo exhibition and performance by Isa Wang on view from July 16, 2019. This is the artist’s first solo exhibition.
The central theme of Both Sides Now is, as W.E.B. Du Bois coined, the idea of double consciousness: the sensation of divided, irreconcilable identities. Wang draws upon research of Chinese American immigration, self-Orientalism, and commercialization of Chinese culture. A combination of video, sculpture, and found-object pieces emulate a backstage dressing room as the backdrop for opening and closing performances of de-dragging: a voyeuristic experience of an intimate moment after a public spectacle.
Throughout the installation, objects branded with advertisement copy impose an exoticized imagination of the Orient. Both Sides Now is loosely inspired by a historic nightclub called the Forbidden City, which exclusively featured Asian American performers during the 1930s, 40s, and 50s.
Wang’s work focuses on intersecting identities from the lens of consumerism. With a background in retail, he combines handmade and found objects with a commercial design aesthetic to examine the representation of marginalized communities in pop culture. Wang’s practice centers around the possibility of transformation via a mix of mediums and genres.
Isa Wang (b. 1989, based in Massachusetts) holds a BFA from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts / Tufts in Boston and an anticipated MFA from the School of Visual Arts in New York, where he was a recipient of the SVA Alumni Scholarship Award and the Art Practice Thesis Project Grant.