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Vessel Gallery presents Excuse Me, Can I See Your ID? A Group Show Celebrating Asian American Artists thru Art + Film, including artists: Cherisse Alcantara, Rea DeGuzman, Dave Young Kim, Heyoung Kim, Kyong Ae Kim, Juan Santiago, Sanjay Vora, Evan Yee, and more TBA.  Opens Friday, April 7, 6-9 PM during Oakland Art Murmur.
Which ID? An INDEPENDENT FILM SCREENING curated by Jasmine Lee Ehrhardt, Including filmmakers:  Ben Wang, Maricar Camaya, RJ Lozada, Studio Revolt, and Rose Chang. April 15 + May 18 FILM SCREENINGS + Q & A with Filmmakers.
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(Above) Cherisse Alcantara, oil painting 48 x 60 inches, The Circle (2017)
 

Excuse Me, Can I See Your ID?
ARTISTS: Cherisse Alcantara, Rea Lynn de Guzman, Dave Young Kim, Heyoung Kim, Kyong Ae Kim, Omid Mokri, Juan Santiago, Sanjay Vora, and Evan Yee

Which ID? (a film screening)
INDEPENDENT FILM SCREENING curated by Jasmine Lee Ehrhardt
FILMMAKERS:  Maricar Camaya, Rose Chang, RJ Lozada, Studio Revolt, & Ben Wang

April 7 - May 27, 2017

OPENING RECEPTION: Friday, April 7, 6-9 PM in conjunction with Oakland Art Murmur First Friday

APRIL FILM SCREENING + Q & A with Filmmakers:  
Saturday, April 15, 2PM
MAY FILM SCREENING: On 3rd Thursdays, May 18, 6-9 PM

ARTIST TALK: Saturday, May 13, 2PM

PORTION OF PROCEEDS will benefit either Asian Health Services, or Asian Law Caucus

Excuse Me, Can I See Your ID?
The idea for this curated group show started with President Obama’s official declaration of Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month in May two years ago, and in honor of the designation, Vessel Gallery is dedicating two months for Excuse Me, Can I See Your ID? This show is an exploration of Asian American identity, in all of its complexities and nuances, through art and film.

Considering these first days of the new administration, I fear President Obama's declaration of this honorary month to celebrate Asian and Pacific Islander Americans (APIAs) may be retracted or redefined in some manner.  The present threats of the rise of white nationalism in the executive branch, the longstanding issues of immigration and deportation (of Arabs, Muslims, and Asians as well), as well as existing and heightened national registries all loom large in my mind as I organize this show. I will make it my responsibility to maintain a creative safe space for artists and the public to experience art at Vessel Gallery. In Excuse Me, Can I See Your ID?, I want to shine light and give space and time to Asian American artists, to understand our own community's issues both historically and in our present moment. As a daily practice I personally focus an intention towards some sort of action or activism, and if the day allows more, I do more. So I turn to curating.

Following two terms under Obama, we have seen more in the way of multiracial citizens, more intersectionality, defined by legal scholar Kimberlé Crenshaw, which states that oppression and oppressive institutions in a society are interconnected, and things like racism and sexism work together to create varying levels of oppression on different groups and individuals. Intersectionality shows us that systemic oppression is not a checklist of various isms but is instead a multilayered concept, showing that these things are interrelated and continuously shaped by one another, and mediated by the state. We have movements such as Black Lives Matter, and the interconnected struggles of people and women of color, as well as the discourse happening around Asian and Pacific Islander American identities in the context of racial hierarchies. Constructing and understanding one's own identity within the structures of oppression by neo-colonial societies is critical to understanding the context of race in America. Dispelling assumptions is part of this work, and is part of the intent behind this show. By acknowledging our shared histories such as post-Exclusionary Act of 1882, 75 years post internment of Japanese Americans, and now weeks just into the Muslim Ban, we can bring to focus the concept of resilience by our diverse AIPA communities.  We are vast, we are resilient, we continue to contribute to the arts, share of ourselves openly, and authentically.  This is a chance to discover our stories in a new context.  By examining a range of artworks and films by Asian and Pacific Islander Americans, we can begin to comprehend the individuality of each story, each artist's identity and how they perceive their identity - as well as the complexities and range of stories within the APIA community.

I am most excited to put forth Vessel's first film screening.  Jasmine Lee Ehrhardt has curated a series of short films by Asian American filmmakers with intriguing, fascinating stories. This series examines different articulations of Asian/-American identity through state apparatuses, conventions of gender and sexuality, and our relationships to empire, national identities, and the self.
 
I hope you will join us for the months of April and May as we celebrate this dynamic diverse collection of works by local Asian American artists and filmmakers.
 
                                  —Lonnie Lee, Director, Vessel Gallery


(Below) Rose Chang, Hard-boiled Mask and the Art of Blossoming (2016)

RAJ IN THE TREE (burlap)  by Sanjay Vora (2016) 88 x 70 inches, acrylic on burlap rice sacks
GHOST  by Rea Lynn de Guzman (2016) 20 x 16 inches, layered monoprints on paper mounted on panel
FLEA by Dave Young Kim  9 x 12 inches,  painting on canvas


Help Complete the Donation of Lovers to the Crocker Art Museum + share
Cyrus Tilton's message of
environmental conservation with the public

 

Many have come to know Cyrus Tilton’s fascinating, superbly crafted sculpture and drawings through Vessel Gallery. Cyrus was recently diagnosed with stage-four esophageal cancer.  If Cyrus's work has left an impression, inspired you to connect, or made you ponder ideas about beauty and mystery – here’s a chance to thank him for enriching your life, and ensure the legacy of his artwork.
 
The Lovers for Cyrus Tilton campaign is reaching out to all who love and value the power of visual arts, and who appreciate Tilton’s work and its thematic values connecting humanity to the environment, to join in philanthropic support.


Please help ensure this artist's message of environmental conservation is shared with the public through museum exhibition. You can help by contributing to the completion of the gift of Lovers to The Crocker Art Museum's permanent collection by making a tax-deductible gift. The Crocker Art Museum's acquisition will be unveiled with an exhibition show August thru November 18, 2018 (mark your calendars)!  Deepest respect and appreciation to all for your interest and support towards this end.  

In The Cycle, the locust serves a cautionary metaphor, and Tilton likens the insect to self-sabotaging consumers whose ultimate end will come once their resources are depleted or a massive natural disaster resets the cycle. “I see many sociobiological similarities between humans and certain species of insects,” he says. “For example, we have figured out ways to cheaply and efficiently produce sugars (in the literal and metaphorical sense) for the public’s mass consumption. We have eagerly refined ways of communicating to others in our community with minimal effort and maximum output. As our population grows our living situations take on similarities to that of a hive or colony. Our consumption habits are exponentially ceaseless and unrelenting.”

In the end, however, Tilton created The Cycle with a sense of hope — the hope of changing course. In this too, he finds answers in the insect world, notably those that have evolved to work together for the common good, using only the resources necessary for the survival of the species.

Will you help? If your connection is personal, please join us, share, and tell others. If you have a professional connection, we ask for support thru aligning industries, corporations, and institutions to financially support the Lovers for Cyrus Tilton campaign.  Contact us with your suggestions and connections who will help ensure Cyrus's placement into The Crocker Art Museum's permanent installation. And be sure to come by Vessel to see Lovers — they’re still getting it on!

For more information about supporting this compassionate art gift and the environmental preservation movement click here.



 
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