■ ■ Curatorial Preface ■ ■
In the beginning, you were just a tiny energy
In the beginning, you thought that freedom was atyour fingertips
In the beginning, you didn’t know that in thedepth of the stems and leaves things are still tangled
Lifeis a set of dominoes
[Why is the "card" combined in this way; canI change it?]
[Is languageabridge of communication or a barrier? Can we really understand eachother? Was thesymbolic language I saw just explainingmy way of thinking? ]
[People have different experiences, and how do our ideas direct us to interact with time? ]
[Howwill the loss or the sharp decline of a particular cultural spacechange our way of thinking? ]
In an interconnected system,a small initial energy can produce a series of chain reactions, which peoplecall the "domino effect." If the card placed at the top representsthe state of mind we are at the moment, the card at the bottom is our initialcuriosity about the world. Our life experience has accumulated day by day,building our belief system and way of thinking.
Alex takes his self-awarenessand throws himself into a completely alienated cultural environment toreshuffle himself, use the most devout feet to talk to the land, use acompulsory method to break the cultural shackles,and meet himself with absolute sincerity by the way of experiment.
Alex tries to usesymbolic language to carry out a kind of speculation about the relationshipbetween self and society, a question about "who am I", a thoughtabout "why do I become me", an experiment on "How can Iunderstand you"? .
His works always have a sincere and passionatevitality. He dares to peel off his most secretive core and use a pure and simpleheart to learn the language. This true and simple courage has become the mosttouching force in his works. He is dedicated to exploring the power of art,creating a medium that transcends language, race, age, gender, or culturaldifferences, creating a new set of rules where we can feel the resonance of anartistic power.
Before coming to China I was verypreoccupied with what my audience thought about my work. I found myself beingable to tailor the work specifically to what I believe the audience would like.This caused me to create work that I didn't necessarily love, and was onlyvisually pleasing with little meaning. This show is titled learning to speakbecause I am trying to speak for myself and what I believe and not what I believeanyone else thinks, or likes to see.
Because of this I am titling the show「learning to speak」 not only to represent learning to speak Chinese, but also my ability to speak about my lifethrough my art.
■ ■ About the Artist ■ ■
Born in 1992 in Pennsylvania, USA
Living and working in Philadelphia,Pennsylvania
● Temple University, Tyler School of Art,Class of 2015— Art History & Semiotics
● 2014 - Cafe Lift, 428 N 13th St,Philadelphia Pa 19123
● 2015 - Philadelphia Sculpture Gym, 「Wood Process IV」
● 2015 - 「Superfine- House of Art and Design」, Miami Beach Fl.
● 2016 - Lisa Naples Studio 「17th annual Fall Show」. Doylestown,
● 2016 - The Chair-ity Project at DaneDecor, Philadelphia PA
● 2016 - Solo Show, Dane Decor,Philadelphia PA
● 2016 - Art for the Cash Poor,Philadelphia, PA
● 2016 - Superfine! - Miami, Miami BeachFL.
● 2017 - M.O Layered, New York, NY
● 2017 - Bugs of Paradise, Philadelphia, PA
● 2017 - Affordable Art Fair, New York, NY
● 2017 - Inliquid Gala, Crane Arts,Philadelphia, PA
● 2017 - 「404 NotFound」, DVAA, Philadelphia, PA
● 2017 - New Hope Arts Center 「Works in Wood」, New Hope, PA
● 2017 - Lisa Naples Studio 「18th annual Fall Show」, Doylestown, PA
● 2018 - Superfine! - Chelsea, Manhattan,NY
● 2017 - Juror’sAward: Sculpture/Wall Art - 「Works in Wood」, New Hope, PA.
● 2016 - Hole #1 - Blue Cross RiverrinkSummerfest Mini-Golf, Philadelphia, PA
● 2018 - The Holy Ghost Man, 40ft mural,Bensalem, PA
● 2018 - Trash can #16 「Trashcan Takeover」 Philadelphia, PA
● 2015 - The Journal of UndergraduateResearch and Scholarly Excellence, Cover, vol. VI, Issue I, Spring 2015
● 2015 - 「AlexanderKuhn:, The Journal of Undergraduate Research and Scholarly Excellence,, vol.VI, Issue I,
Spring 2015, p. 38-39
● 2017 - 「FineArts: Must-see exhibit in New Hope」, Trenton Times,Nov. 22nd, 2017 Issue.
● 2014 - 2015 The Village of Arts andHumanities, 2544 Germantown Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19133
● 2015- 2016 InLiquid Arts - Group DrawingClasses, Philadelphia, 19123
● 2014 -2018 Private 1-on-1 weekly drawing,painting, designing, and drafting classes.
● 2018 - Assembled a team of 10 rising 11thgraders to dream up , design, and paint a 40ft x 10ft mural taking over 600hours to complete.
● 2013 - 「Under 25in Philly」 - Cred Space - Formerly located at 3rd &South. St. Philadelphia.
■ ■ About the Part of Previous Works ■ ■
「The Holy Ghost Student」 - 12m x 3.5m mural，2018.
Created over the course of 6 months. I worked with a team of 10 rising seniors in the spring to draft, design, and finalize a designrepresentative of the message and vision of the school and all of it'squalities. The students and I then painted the mural over the summer.
「Let's be friend again」 - 100cm x76cm, oil on panel, 2018.
Commissioned by afriend who had a bad breakup with a previous partner. He wanted to rekindletheir friendship so I created this piece using the image of an elephant, theimage of the Indian God Ganesh, the God of new beginnings. The pigments used inthe artwork were self mixed from powders collected from India. The pigments inthis piece as traditionally used during the Indian Holi and Wedding ceremonies,representing transitions through life and a celebration of love.
「Fire Hydrant」 - 121cm x 91cm, acrylic,watercolor and pyrography on maple panel, 2017.
This piece was createdbecause one day I left work feeling hopeless. On my ride home, I saw a similarfire Hydrant, alone, and without function. with a cone on its top and I thought「that looks stupid」... But in fact, it was just an object, and the negativethought was actually directed towards myself. I created this piece to turn thenegative energy into positive energy, and give the Hydrant a new purpose, aplace in art as a beautiful object of appreciation.
「Heart」 - 101cm x 76cm, oil on paper, 2018.
This peace was created using a straw and mybreath, no paint brush was used. At the time of its creation I was feeling verystrongly about my relationship with my girlfriend. She was very busy and I feltlike she didn't love me anymore. I couldfeel the pain in my chest, in my heart. I needed to find a way to get theenergy out of my mind, so I used this piece as a meditation and created thispiece using exactly 10,000 breaths of air, and no more.
「Jupiter」, pyrography on maple wood panel,165cm x 123cm, 2017.
This piece was created and of the desire totruly look at something. I feel that in present time many people see things butthey don't really look at them. The image and our mind exists in place of theobject in front of us. I chose Jupiter because it is the only object I canthink of that is truly abstract in representation yet realistic in existence. Aperfect blend of abstract and realistic.
「Ennui」 - calligraphy ink and marker onpaper, 43cm x 35cm, 2018.
This piece was the first piece that Icreated using the blow ink technique. I felt so frustrated creating work that Ididn't like so I just needed to get the energy out of my body. The title of theartwork is on we which means a sense of listlessness and hopelessness.Something that I find I struggle with every day.
「Fatherhood」 - pyrography and carved wood,maple panel, 91cm x 121cm, 2016.
This piece was created because I feel asthough there is such a Negative stereotype towards fathers. In America,「mothering」 means to raise and take care of a child whereas the meaning of「fathering」 is just the person who is responsible for giving the DNA. This isso sad for me because fatherhood is the part of my life that I look forward tothe most. And I wanted to find a place in nature where fatherhood is seen assomething beautiful
「The Key」 - pyrography on maple panel,121cm x 91cm, 2015.
The iconography depicted in "TheKey" is meant to act as an agricultural instruction manual. If one were toimagine the age before modern agriculture, the human species did not know howto cultivate crops or create organized farming spaces. The imagery on theribbon wrapping the hand depicts a repeating Sun & Moon placed abovesuccessive 「V」 shaped divots (representing the soil). Between the Sun, Moon andsoil, water droplets are continually repeated.
■ ■ Exhibition Information ■ ■
DAC Artists in Residency
“ learning tospeak” Solo exhibition by American artist Alex Kuhn
Resident Artist: Alex Kuhn ( U.S.)
Resident Artist:Alex Kuhn (U.S.)
Art Director: Tu Zeng
Curator: Yanzi Hu
ExecutiveCurator: Yiwei Chen
Poster Design: Yuhang Lu
Aassistance: Burning Bear
The Article Translantion: Meijie Xu
Openning Party: 2018.12.22（Sat）19:30
Exhibition Time: 2018.12.23-2018.1.6（Fri.-Sun. 14:00-18:00）
Exhibition Location: Dimensions Art Center, Huangjueping, Chongqing
Sponsored by: Dimensions Art Center (DAC)
Supporter: Internationalized Artistic Talents Program of SichuanFine Arts Institute
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DAC Artists In Residency (DAIR) is a multi-dimensional art research and exchange platform with “contemporary”, “experimental”, “locality” and “publicity”. DAC is committed to materializing the symbiosis of art and society, facing the local social scene and cultural background under the context of the current era of international contemporary art environment to carry out cross-disciplinary, cross-media and interdisciplinary integration through researches on theoretical practices with open, innovative and experimental mindset.
DAC continuously recruits and invites artists, curators, designers and other professionals from all over the world to Artists In Residency and provide months of local residence and works presentation opportunities. DAC help all kinds of professionals carry out theoretical research in locality and practices in creation on this platform, exerting their creativity with freedom. To this end, we also channel resources from various fields and leverage reasonable social cooperation and resources to materialize the social effect of art, the revitalization of the region and the symbiosis with joint efforts.