Date(s) - Wednesday, May 27, 2020
The Asian Arts & Culture Center (AA&CC) at Towson University and Central Baltimore Partnership present the second annual Asia North exhibition, Asia North 2020: Tradition-Memory-Transformation, at http://www.towson.edu/asianorth. The exhibit is co-produced by the Asian Arts & Culture Center and Central Baltimore Partnership with major support from the William G. Baker, Jr. Memorial Fund.
Inaugurated in spring 2019, Asia North is a celebration of art, culture, and the Asian heritage of Greater Baltimore, especially the Korean history of the Charles North community (a.k.a. Station North). It is co-presented by AA&CC, Central Baltimore Partnership, Charm City Night Market, and multiple community partners.
The online exhibition, Asia North 2020: Tradition-Memory-Transformation, was curated by AA&CC’s Program Manager, Nerissa Paglinauan and features the work of twenty-five regional Asian and Asian American artists. Originally intended as an in-person exhibition to be held form April 4-May 9 in the historic Korean Senior Day Care Center in Baltimore’s Charles North neighborhood, the exhibit has gone online to be on view indefinitely. The new online format supports the artists while offering global, 24/7 access to their work.
Tradition-Memory-Transformation expresses, illustrates, and addresses the fusion of cultures, drawing from traditional art forms, memories of homeland, and more. Works reveal different yet interconnected layers of experiences, histories and identities of artists whose cultural roots hail from China, India, Indonesia, Iran, Japan, Korea, the Philippines, and Taiwan.
The artists featured in Tradition-Memory-Transformation include Elmer Calata, Cheng Cao, Mary Champagne, Sony Robles Florendo, Nico Gozal, Farhad Heidarian, Chung-Wei Huang, Kei Ito, Paige Dasol Kim, Wanjin Kim, Sunjin Lee, Nahid Navab, Grace Sunsook Park, Sookkyung Park, Rachana Saurabh, Saloni Shah, Nahid Tootoonchi, Mishel Valenton, Vidya Vijayasekharan, Wujian Wang, Zan Wang, Andersen Woof, Monica Youn, Beichen Zhang, and Ruiqi Zhang. Their work is presented within the context of 4 themes:
Memories & Metaphors explores and interprets personal and historical memories, connecting East and West in a contemporary landscape.
Honoring & Interpreting Tradition features work that draws inspiration from traditional art practices, celebrates the artists’ cultures, and incorporates the artists’ modern sensibilities.
Embracing Identity explores immigrant and gender identities, dismantles stereotypes, and embraces culture, evolving identities, and self-representation.
Art for Social Change reflects on historical and current events; addresses political, social, and environmental issues; and inspires contemplation, community dialogue, and activism. Especially timely are Wujian Wang’s haunting photographs which visually encapsulate the thousands of horrible chain reactions caused by the global COVID-19 pandemic.
The exhibit also includes a brief introduction to Baltimore’s first Koreatown and the Korean community in Greater Baltimore.
The Asia North 2020 celebration was originally planned as a physical exhibition with performances, films, a night market, neighborhood food tour, and more to be held from April 4-May 9, 2020. However, due to social distancing policies, we now present an online version of the exhibition here and hope to offer the originally-planned events in fall 2020. We thank our major donor, the William G. Baker, Jr. Memorial Fund, for supporting this adaptation of our plans.
Special thanks to Central Baltimore Partnership, Maryland State Arts Council, William G. Baker, Jr. Memorial Fund, Citizens of Baltimore County, AA&CC Members, TU Creative Services, TU Digital Strategy, TU Marketing & Communications, Heather Sorensen, PNC Bank, WYPR, North Ave. Market-Mike Shecter, Stillpointe Theatre, Gong-yu Yesul Gallery, TU-BTU Presidential Priority, TD Bank, Baltimore Asian Pasifika Arts Collective, Charm City Night Market, Ock Kyung Lee, Michelle Lee, Paul Kim, Dale Dusman, Matthew Park, Station North Arts District, Midtown Baltimore and Charles North Community Association.
ASIAN ARTS & CULTURE CENTER AT TU
The Asian Arts & Culture Center at Towson University engages the university and surrounding communities in cross-cultural dialogue through a broad range of artistic and cultural learning experiences related to Asia. Programs increase understanding of the world’s diverse cultures, challenge stereotypes, strengthen cultural competency, and offer unique perspectives on creativity and the human experience. www.towson.edu/asianarts
Image: “Reincarnation of Peony,” Sunjin Lee, 2016, Korean colored on Hanji (Korean paper),14 x 18 inches.