The Sylvia Wald and Po Kim Art Gallery is pleased to present War is for the Living, a group exhibition that brings together thirteen transnational, multiethnic, and intergenerational artists working in various media whose works provoke questions about a world permeated by war.
These works underscore the living that comes after war and investigate what lessons the experience of war can offer us.
The earliest work in the exhibition, John Lennon and Yoko Ono’s public art work, War Is Over/If You Want lt (1969), considers ideation as a powerful tool for social change. Recalling the same era, Simon leung’s War After War is a collaborative project with Warren Niesluchowski, a former World War 11 refugee and Vietnam War deserter whose life foregrounds the ethical challenge of reciprocity and hospitality. For her participatory action, Nancy Hwang invites Robin Kahn, who considers art a peaceful weapon and whose collaboration with Sahrawi women brings to our attention their struggle for independence from Morocco. Kahn will present segments from her dOCUMENTA (13) project video, and together with Hwang, will host two public actions during the exhibition. Irreconcilability of war memories is the subject of two works: Baghdad~born Paul Qaysi’s Misprints are purposely blurred images of U.S. military activity in Iraq, which provoke questions about how news organizations represent war; the Vietnamese transnational artist Oinh Q. Le’s untit led photo-weavings from The Hill of Poisonous Trees situate the haunting memories of the Cambodian Genocide in relation to the Khmer Empire’s artistic accomplishments. Having also lived through the Vietnam War, An-My Le shows the larger world of the U.S. military, its scientific, exploratory and humanitarian missions, in Events Ashore.
Representation is the key strategy for two artists: the Japanese American artist and community activist Tomie Arai’s Momotoro/Peach Soy revisits the narrative of a Japanese folk tale, used as propaganda by the Japanese military during World War 11, by juxtaposing images taken from various sources. Kenyan-born, ethnic Indian artist Allan deSouza’s photo-based work Terrains exploits the medium’s unique relationship to fact, creating seemingly “familiar” scenes from daily detritus that allude to his memories of sectarian violence and became prophetic of the destruction of 9/11. That event profoundly affected two Japanese artists who experienced it in New York City: Yoshiaki Kaihatsu’s floor installation Dust commemorates 9/11, while the Hiroshima-born, Brooklyn-based artist Hiroshl Sunairl began giving seeds from trees that survived the atomic bombing of Hiroshima to people who would plant them. Between 2001 and 2008, the documentary photographer Nina Berm an created Homeland, a series of images that examines the post-9/ll militarization of American life.
Funding for this exhibition is provided by Japan Foundation, Vilcek Foundation, New York University’s Asian/Pacific/American Institute, and individual donors.
On View: February 12-March 23, 2013
Hours: Tuesday-Saturday, 11 am-6 pm
Opening Reception: February 14, 2013, 6·9 pm
February 14, 2013, 7:45·8:15 pm: Vi~t Le, Incredible Indelible Invisible Man
March 2, 2013, 4·6 pm: Nancy Hwang and Robin Kahn, War Is for the living: What’s lt to You?
March 9, 2013,4-6 pm Robin Kahn, Western Sahara: “The Art of Sohrowi Cooking•
The Sylvia Wald and Po Kim Art Gallery is located in East Village section of Manhattan, New York City. Gallery is wheelchair accessible and is located on 4th Floor, 417 Lafayette Street between Astor Place and East 4th Street.
Hours: Tuesday through Saturday: 11 am to 6 pm.