Christine Park Gallery presents We Are Like Air, a solo exhibition of photographs curated from a similarly titled book, by Hong Kong based Filipina artist Xyza Cruz Bacani. It is the artist’s second solo exhibition with the gallery.
At its core, We Are Like Air is a visual metaphor for the way migrant workers are often treated in every society – an ever-present necessity of production, but often permanently unseen. Through documenting eight inter-woven stories of migrant worker families, which also includes the journey of her mother, Georgia Bacani, the artist drives to the heart of this conversation in an extremely personal and relevant way through the images she has created. A video will accompany these photographs alongside a prayer area to allow guests to quietly spend time as they explore the gallery.
In addition to the images depicting the stories of these migrant workers, the exhibition will also feature an installation of cross-stitch embroidery, which was created by migrant workers in Hong Kong. Inspired from her photographs,, the embroidery serves as a physical representation of how society operates through the work of the invisible hands,performing multiple kinds of labor. Every Sunday, the artist witnesses’ women migrant workers creating beautiful patterns with cross-stitch on their rest day after working six days a week. A tradition of migrant worker families, normally done by the women of the household, cross-stitching is used to embellish and personalize household linens and dishcloths. It has now become a popular expression of creativity for women to hang on as decorations on the walls of their home. Similar to their experience as migrant workers, the process of creating a cross-stitch is also unseen and only ever acknowledged as a final product, separated from hard work put into it . This is similarity is not new as the parallels between the cross-stitching and labor they create flow through their hands like the air they have come to personify.
This exhibition and the artist talk are generously supported by WMA Commission, Hong Kong and FUJIFILM North American Corporation.Image courtesy of Christine Park Gallery and the Artist. Photograph by Nick Papananias