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Announcement
September 24, 2013

“兩岸關係” | “Cross-Strait Relations” | “两岸关系”

Sheila C. Johnson Design Center at Parsons The New School for Design
Charwei Tsai, Lanyu #8, 2012, C-print, inscribed in ink, 47 ¼ x 59 inches,
Courtesy of TKG+, Taipei, Taiwan.

兩岸關係” | “Cross-Strait Relations” | “两岸关系,” the fall exhibition at the Sheila C. Johnson Design Center at Parsons The New School for Design, brings together a group of artists who embrace the itinerant sensibility that increasingly defines the Chinese diaspora, responding to their various artistic bases, and whose work takes up the complexities of movement and identities.

Ming Wong re-imagines the 1974 film Chinatown by playing all of the main roles himself and Chen Chieh-jen takes his own U.S. visa interview as a point of departure for staging the drama of anticipation and supplication that such encounters entail. Cao Fei’s slyly playful photographs in her PostGarden series transplant popular BBC cartoon characters into a landscape of thrill and mystery. Other works featured in the show are by Heman Chong, Lee Kit, Michael Lin, Charwei Tsai, Hong-kai Wang, and Hu Yun.  The exhibition will also feature a site-specific installation by Lin.

“The diverse range of works in this show—videos, photographs, installations, sound art, and performance—explore the pluralism of Chinese identity,” said curator Arthur Ou, an artist and assistant professor of Photography at Parsons The New School for Design. “By reexamining that identity, both geographically and culturally, these works cast the term ‘cross-strait relations,’ a commonly used phrase that points to the fraught relationship between China and Taiwan, in a new light.”

“Not only do these works shatter monolithic conceptions of being Chinese, they also explore transformation rather than migration as a global condition,” said Radhika Subramaniam, chief curator of the SJDC. “We are reminded that the slim straits that separate us are also spaces of translation and radical re-invention, all issues familiar to the life of New York too.”

About the Sheila C. Johnson Design Center
The Sheila C. Johnson Design Center is an award-winning campus center for Parsons The New School for Design that combines learning and public spaces with exhibition galleries to provide an important new downtown destination for art and design programming. The mission of the Center is to generate an active dialogue on the role of innovative art and design in responding to the contemporary world. Its programming encourages an interdisciplinary examination of possibility and process, linking the university to local and global debates. The center is named in honor of its primary benefactor, New School Trustee and Parsons Board of Governor’s Member Sheila C. Johnson. The design by Rice+Lipka Architects is the recipient of numerous awards, including an Honor Award from the American Institute of Architects. For more information please visit www.newschool.edu/sjdc.

Parsons The New School for Design is one of the leading institutions for art and design education in the world. Based in New York but active around the world, the school offers undergraduate and graduate programs in the full spectrum of art and design disciplines. Critical thinking and collaboration are at the heart of a Parsons education. Parsons graduates are leaders in their respective fields, with a shared commitment to creatively and critically addressing the complexities of life in the 21st century. For more information, please visit www.newschool.edu/parsons.

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