Walsh Gallery

Benjamin / Kobayashi / Gang: In Search Of


Dates: Nov 30 2001 - Jan 5 2002

A Reaction to September 11th "In Search Of" opens at the Walsh Gallery on November 30th from 5-9 pm. The show continues until January 5th. The exhibition challenges viewers to celebrate and question where and what is home and asks the viewer to suspend his worries and reflect on the enigma of a circle, a sign, a world of rich colors.

Huang Gang, an artist from Beijing, uses simple images such as a circle, a star, a line in conjunction with Tibetan prayer printing plates, to put the viewer in a meditative state. In addition to the Tibetan holy scripture plates, some of his paintings are made of lacker, wood, and golden leaf. Audience can find Chinese calligraphy and the ideas about Yin and Yang in his works.

Hisako Kobayashi's brilliant colors reflect her emotional range. Her paintings are contradictions...soothing and raw, full of questions and unknowable answers. Although it is easy to get lost in her rich colors, it is her mark making that grounds the viewer.

Siona Benjamin's installation entitled "My America 2001" was created on September 7, 2001. It shows a mask and two left hands, one is facing upwards and one is downwards in a circle of red rice. Also on top of the rice are many claer plastic houses placed carefully around the mandala. Over the mandala will be a video projection of a series of self portraits from Ms. Benjamin's celebrated "Finding Home" series. In addition, some of these paintings will also be on display. At the entrance to Ms. Benjamin's installation is a blue self-portrait mask with glasses. In the glasses is reflected the American Flag. Over the mask is a Jewish prayer shawl. The mask is facing a painting of an American flag within an American Flag.

Ms. Benjamin's work raises questions about what and where is home. She also challenges the viewer to think about immigration, motherhood, and the role of art in social change. This seems is relevant in light of the current socio-political climate. Ms. Benjamin will give a talk entitled "Presenting home - representing belonging" at 7pm during the opening reception.

Ms. Benjamin, who is a Jew originally from India, has created a series of paintings "Finding Home" that go along with her installation. These paintings reference Indian miniatures in a contemporary way. The paintings are displayed like Indian miniatures, with cream matts. On first glance the viewer is struck by their beauty, but upon looking again, the viewer sees many odd and dangerous items hidden among the warm and inviting imagery.

Hisako Kobayashi and Siona Benjamin will be present at the opening reception. Ms. Benjamin will give a talk entitled "Presenting Home - Representing Belonging" at 7pm during the opening reception.