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30 Years: Art Projects International

Art Projects International, New York

Fri 10 Mar 2023 to Sat 29 Apr 2023

Artists: David Brody - Erik Bakke - Filipe Rocha da Silva - Gwenn Thomas - Hans Neleman - IL Lee - Zhang Jian-Jun - Mari Lee - Mariano Ferrante - Myong Hi Kim - Pouran Jinchi - Richard Tsao - Seokmin Ko - Soo Im Lee - Yojiro Imasaka

Art Projects International celebrates the gallery’s 30-year anniversary with a special exhibition 30 Years: Art Projects International. The exhibition reflects on Art Projects International’s history by highlighting the many artists, exhibitions, and people that have been part of the gallery’s story over the past three decades—from the early years in Soho, with the gallery introducing and providing a platform for artists of diverse international backgrounds, to charting its own path with its move to Tribeca in 1998. The gallery’s founder and director Jung Lee Sanders’ background of living and working in different parts of the world and multi-allegiance to various cultures and world views have been a source of inspiration and guidance for both the gallery and its artists.

Installation Views

Since its founding in 1993, the gallery has presented and organized over 150 exhibitions and featured works by more than eighty artists from around the world. Art Projects International is one of the few galleries founded in New York in the 1990s to focus on contemporary artists from Asia and its diaspora; it has played an important role in bringing to light the stories of significant yet under-acknowledged artists. From its inception, the gallery’s program has been engaged in the presentation of art that should be understood as belonging to the center, as opposed to the periphery, of contemporary art discourse. And the gallery’s long term support of distinctive talents has resulted in the increased inclusion and visibility of their works, many of which have since become part of a living art history and are present in prominent museums and collections around the world.

This anniversary exhibition brings together a selection of exemplary works and new works by an intergenerational group of international artists. With works spanning more than three decades and with a selection of rare archival materials, the exhibition will highlight significant works from important exhibitions at Art Projects International, as well as those placed in collections of note or shown in museum and institutional exhibitions. Also highlighted are important collaborative ventures, group shows, and many previously unpublished photographs of people who have been part of this extraordinary journey.

Included in the exhibition will be Jian-Jun Zhang’s ink scholar’s rock sculpture Ink Rock (2002) that was part of The Fourth Shanghai Biennale at the Shanghai Art Museum in 2002, and a variation of which was featured in Ink Art: Past as Present in Contemporary China at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in 2013. Also featured will be Gwenn Thomas’ Abstract lll (1993), from her seminal black and white, photo emulsion work on linen works of the 1990s, along with her most recent works—a painting on photographic paper Rare Earth Magnet V (2022), a never before exhibited resin and aluminum sculpture Metallica IV (2020), and a video Moments of Place (Alcântara) (2018). Among the works by Il Lee will be Untitled 978K (1997-98), a very large black ballpoint ink on paper work from his seminal 978 series of powerful drawings from the 1990s, represented in major collections including the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) and Minneapolis Institute of Art (Mia). And on view will be Lee’s most recent acrylic and oil work on canvas WR-2201 (2022), along with his never before exhibited painting IY-1601 (2016). Also included will be Pouran Jinchi’s Ruba’iyat Series #5 (1995) and Untitled (Poetry #99-13) (1999), an excellent example from her early poetry paintings series, represented in major collections including Cincinnati Art Museum, along with Jinchi’s intricate and subtle yet bold and direct drawing Night 1 (2011), that was part of the exhibition Dawn, Noon and Night at Art Projects International in 2012—Noon 1 (2011) from this exhibition was acquired by The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Works making their debut are a new painting Contraindication (2023) by David Brody; a grouping of Erik Bakke’s “Platform” monotypes (2022) that feature brightly colored, stylized depictions of a wooden observation platform built by the artist along the Salinas River outside King City, California in 2021; Filipe Rocha da Silva’s wool thread and lace on canvas work Mirza Ghalib (2021) that was inspired by the sufi poet Ghalib; Hans Neleman’s latest paper and mixed media collage Impermanence (Changes) I (2022); Mari Lee‘s new video work Daily Discovery of Present Moment (2020-2023); and Mariano Ferrante’s new large painting Pintura CE 04/21 (2021) from his well-known densely constructed and richly colored Pintura series. Also included are a major pastel on chalkboard work Spring (2013) by Myong Hi Kim; Richard Tsao’s signature “flood room” paintings including Splash (2010) and Moon Dust (2013); works from Seokmin Ko’s acclaimed photographic series The Square; a limited-edition etching print Roofs (1992) by Soo Im Lee; and works from Yojiro Imasaka’s latest Wet Land series of photographs along with a work from his acclaimed series A Thousand Years.

About the Artists

David Brody (b. 1958, New York, NY) lives and works in Brooklyn, NY. He is a painter also working with film and installation. Recent painting exhibitions include a two-person show with Elliott Green at Studio 10 in Brooklyn, and solo exhibitions at Pierogi and Sometimes (works of art), New York. His 2014 installation 8 Ecstasies at Pierogi / The Boiler included an 11-minute digital animation (in collaboration with composer Zig Gron). His films have been screened at the National Gallery of Art, The Reina Sofia Museum, and the IFC Center. He has created wall drawings at The Drawing Center, The Brooklyn Museum, and Hallwalls. He also writes about art for Artcritical, Bomb Magazine, and other publications.

Erik Bakke (b. 1965, Los Gatos, CA) is an artist, writer, curator, and educator. Currently, he draws and paints and works on projects in the California cities of San Francisco, Mountain View, and King City, with much of his work being informed by his experiences of the Salinas Valley. He has exhibited paintings and curated exhibitions in Asia, Europe, and the United States. Most recently, Bakke has been involved in a variety of collaborations with visual artists and creators under the project name Lesnini Field.

Filipe Rocha da Silva (b. 1954, Portugal) currently lives and works in Lisbon, Portugal. His recent textile work, based on traditional secular weaving crafts common in Portugal, blurs the conventional divisions between craft and fine art and resists fixed boundaries. Recent exhibitions include: Filipe Rocha da Silva, Here to There: Textile Drawings, Art Projects International, NY (2018); Blurred Horizons, Art Projects International, NY (2018); Post Painting, Casa das Artes de Tavira, Portugal (2017); Desenhos Têxteis, Fundação Arpad Szenes Vieira da Silva, Lisbon (2016); and Bl, MUTE, Lisbon (2016). His work is represented in major collections including the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, Lisbon, Portugal; Centro de Arte Moderna do Funchal, Madeira, Portugal; Centro de Arte Moderna, Museu da Cidade de Lisboa, Lisbon, Portugal; Museu de Arte Contemporânea, Fundação de Serralves, Porto, Portugal; and Museo de Arte Contemporáneo Unión Fenosa, A Coruña, Spain.

Gwenn Thomas (b. Rhode Island) lives and works in New York. She graduated from the Cooper Union School of Art, New York. Thomas’ work has been widely exhibited, and a survey of her work was published by Charta (Milan, Italy) in 2013. Recent museum exhibitions include: DUST: The Plates of the Present, Centre Pompidou, Paris (2020); Gwenn Thomas: Moments of Place, Point of Contact Gallery at Syracuse University (2014); Number 6: Flaming Creatures, Julia Stoschek Collection, Düsseldorf, Germany (2012-13); Accomplices. The Photographer and the Artist Around 1970, Museum of Modern Art, Warsaw, Poland (2011). Her work is represented in major collections including The Metropolitan Museum of Art; Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; Philadelphia Museum of Art; Harvard Art Museums / Fogg Museum; Graphic Arts Collection, Princeton University Library; Museum Ludwig, Cologne, Germany; ‘Plates of the Present’ Collection, Musée National d’Art Moderne, Centre Pompidou, Paris; São Schlumberger, Paris; C.A.M. Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian, Lisbon, Portugal; and Julia Stoschek Collection, Düsseldorf, Germany.

Hans Neleman (b. 1960) is a Dutch-born American artist who works across photography, collage, and painting. Neleman studied at Goldsmiths University in London and received his MA degree from New York University. He has worked for more than 30 years internationally as an advertising photographer and director. Neleman is the author of three monographs, Moko-Maori Tattoo, Night Chicas, and Silence, highlighting his well-known photographic compositions. He has taught at New York University, the International Center of Photography, and the School of Visual Arts. His work has been exhibited internationally including at Art Projects International, New York; MoCA Westport; Ricco/Maresca Gallery, New York; and Biennale de Lyon, France. His work is represented in major collections including the National Gallery of Australia, Peabody Essex Museum, Museum of Contemporary Art of Lyon.

Il Lee (b. 1952 Seoul, Korea, lives and works in New York) is internationally celebrated for his pioneering work with ballpoint pen and a storied career spanning nearly five decades. Lee’s work, with its unorthodox media and distinctive style, and artistic contributions have received worldwide recognition. His large acrylic and oil on canvas work along with his ballpoint ink on paper work were exhibited in Representation/Abstraction in Korean Art at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in 2010 and his innovative and historically grounded ballpoint pen works were the subject of a critically acclaimed mid-career retrospective at the San Jose Museum of Art in 2007. Museums exhibiting his work include The Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum, Minneapolis Institute of Art, Palms Springs Art Museum, Queens Museum of Art, Crow Museum of Art, Arkansas Museum of Fine Arts, Smithsonian Museum of Art, Brooklyn Museum, and National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Korea. Work by the artist is represented in prominent collections including The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Minneapolis Institute of Art (Mia), Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), San Jose Museum of Art, Palm Springs Art Museum, Vilcek Foundation, National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art Korea, Leeum Samsung Museum of Art (Seoul), Société Bic (France), Montefiore Fine Art Collection, and Bank of America.

Jian-Jun Zhang (b. 1955, Shanghai, China) is among the first generation of Chinese contemporary artists to gain international recognition. His “Scholar Rock” sculpture was exhibited as part of Ink Art at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in 2014. His work has been exhibited at the San Francisco Asian Art Museum; Kunstmuseum Bern, Switzerland; China National Art Museum, Bejing; Shanghai Art Museum; Yuz Museum and Power Station of Contemporary Art, Shanghai; M+ (Hong Kong); National Contemporary Art Museum, Rome, Italy; Kunstmuseum Luzern, Switzerland; Brooklyn Museum; Royal Academy of Arts, London, UK; and the Shanghai Biennale, Venice Biennale, and Gwangju Biennale. His work is represented in major collections including the Uli Sigg Collection (Switzerland); M+ (Hong Kong); Frederick R. Weisman Art Foundation; Shanghai Art Museum; Yuz Museum (Shanghai); Guangdong Museum of Art (China); Shenzhen Art Institute; Brooklyn Museum (New York); San Francisco Asian Art Museum; Djerassi Foundation Permanent Collection; and Ahmanson Foundation Collection.

Mari Lee (b. Seoul, Korea) grew up in South Korea, Hong Kong, and England, and currently lives and works in New York. She graduated from Ewha Womans University in Seoul and received her MA from New York University in studio art (photography). After working as a photo-assistant to photographer Mary Ellen Mark, she worked as a photojournalist in Seoul and New York. Most recently, she has focused on creating time-based media works. Recent exhibitions include: Unlearning, Transforming (solo exhibition), New York University Photo Hall Gallery, New York (2019); Infinite Perspectives (3-person show); Artbit Gallery, Seoul, Korea (2017); and Unlearning (solo exhibition), Is Gallery, Seoul, Korea (2016).

Mariano Ferrante (b. 1974, Bahía Blanca, Argentina) lives and works in Buenos Aires, Argentina. His work has been exhibited at leading museums and institutions in Buenos Aires, including the Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes; Museo de Arte Moderno de Buenos Aires; Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Buenos Aires; and Fundación PROA. Recent site-specific commissions include: Monocromía en cuatro colores Nro 2 at Centro Cultural Córdoba, Argentina (2021); Polyphony of Four Colors at Sala de Camara at Usina del Arte, Buenos Aires (2020); Transformations N1/2019 at Madison Avenue Presbyterian Church Day School, New York (2019); Partitura para Exterior N27/16 in Parque de los Laberintos at Tecnópolis, Buenos Aires (2016); and Cosmorama 2009/2015 at Belgrano Subway Station, E line, Buenos Aires (2015). Ferrante’s work is represented in major collections including the Museum of Contemporary Art of Buenos Aires (MACBA); Union Industrial Argentina, Buenos Aires; Francis J. Greenburger Collection; Montefiore Fine Art Collection; and Bank of America.

Myong Hi Kim (b. 1949, Seoul, Korea) lives and works in New York and a formerly abandoned schoolhouse in a mountain village in Kangwon Province, South Korea. She graduated from Seoul National University and studied at Pratt Institute, New York. Her recent solo exhibitions include: Art Projects International, New York (2020, 2015, 2012) and Gallery Hyundai, Seoul (2012). Her work has been exhibited at the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Korea; Seoul Museum of Art, Korea; Ho-Am Art Museum, Seoul; Whanki Museum, Seoul; Ewha Women’s University Museum, Seoul; Jeonbuk Museum of Art, Korea; American University Museum, Washington, DC; and most recently at SOMA Museum of Art in Seoul; and the Gangwon Triennale 2021. Her work is represented in major public collections including the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Korea; National Assembly, Seoul; Whanki Museum, Seoul; Gyeonggi Museum of Modern Art, Korea; Seoul Museum of Art, Korea; and Daejeon Museum of Art, Korea.

Pouran Jinchi (b. 1959, Mashad, Iran) lives and works in Portugal. Select museum exhibitions include: Collecting Calligraphy: Arts of the Islamic World, Cincinnati Art Museum (2018); New Blue and White, Museum of Fine Arts Boston (2013); Phantoms of Asia, Asian Art Museum, San Francisco (2012); Light of the Sufis, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston (2010) and Brooklyn Museum, New York (2009); Tarjama/Translation, Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY (2010) and Queens Museum of Art, New York (2009); Iran Inside Out, Chelsea Museum, New York (2009); and Pouran Jinchi, Vilcek Foundation, New York (2008). Her work is represented in major collections including The Metropolitan Museum of Art; Museum of Fine Arts Houston; Cincinnati Art Museum; Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art; Brooklyn Museum; San Diego Museum of Art; Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, Smithsonian Institution; Federal Reserve Bank; and Farjam Collection.

Richard Tsao (b. 1954, Bangkok, Thailand) moved to New York in 1976, where he currently lives and works. His 1995 breakout first solo exhibition in New York at the Queens Museum featured Tsao’s color saturated multi-layered paintings described as “chromatically opulent, process-intensive abstraction” by Holland Cotter who reviewed the show in The New York Times. Since the mid-1990s, Tsao has shown extensively in the United States and Asia. Recent solo exhibitions include: Richard Tsao: Green Acres, Art Projects International, New York (2021); Richard Tsao: Monotypes, Art Projects International, New York (2020); Richard Tsao: Works from Industry City, Art Projects International, New York (2014); Richard Tsao: Nam Wan, Art Projects International, New York (2010). His work is represented in major collections including the Weatherspoon Art Museum; Arkansas Museum of Fine Arts Foundation Collection; and Montefiore Fine Art Collection, New York.

Seokmin Ko (b. 1984, Gunsan, Korea) lives and works in South Korea and is a recipient of many prestigious awards including the 2012 SongEun ArtCube Artist award. Ko’s first U.S. solo exhibition The Square was presented in 2012 at Art Projects International, New York. Other solo exhibitions include: Seokmin Ko: Strip Show, Art Projects International, NY (2014) and Seokmin Ko: The Square, SongEun ArtCube, Seoul (2012). Recent exhibitions include: Color As Space, Art Projects International (2022); Blurred Horizons, Art Projects International, NY (2018); Not Your Ordinary Art Storage, SongEun ArtStorage, Seoul (2017); Mirror Mirror, Spacemom Museum of Art, Chongju, Korea (2016); Summer Love, SongEun Art Space, Seoul (2015); and FOTOSEPTIEMBRE USA, San Antonio, TX (2014). Featured articles and reviews about Seokmin Ko have appeared in major publications including Artnews, CNN Photos, Photo+, and Art in Culture. His work is represented in major collections including the SongEun Art and Cultural Foundation, Seoul; Montefiore Collection, New York; and Fidelity Corporate Art Collection, Boston.

Soo Im Lee (b. 1954 Seoul, Korea) lives and works in New York. She studied painting at Hong-Ik University in Seoul and came to the United States in 1981 to concentrate in printmaking studies and received her M.A. in printmaking from New York University. Recent exhibitions include: Color As Space, Art Projects International (2022); Paper and Process 3, Art Projects International (2022); Soo Im Lee: Across Time and Place, Art Projects International (2017); Marking 2, Art Projects International, NY (2016); Open (C)ALL: Up for Debate, BRIC, NY (2016); Coloring Time, Korean Cultural Service NY (2013).

Yojiro Imasaka (b. 1983, Hiroshima, Japan) lives and works in Brooklyn, New York. He received a BFA in photography at Nihon University College of Art in Tokyo and went on to study at Pratt Institute in New York from which he earned an MFA in 2010. Imasaka’s work has been exhibited in North America, Asia and Europe, including the Minneapolis Institute of Art; Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum; New Jersey City University Gallery; Art Project International in New York; and a solo presentation at Paris Photo in France 2018, by Miyako Yoshinaga Gallery in New York. His work is in the permanent collection of the San Jose Museum of Art, Minneapolis Institute of Art, Mead Art Museum at Amherst College, Carnegie Museum of Art, and New Orleans Museum of Art.

Installation image of 30 Years: Art Projects International at Art Projects International, New York, 2023.

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