press release

7+Fig Art Space is pleased to announce "Building Paradise", a group exhibition organized by Los Angeles based artist, Kyungmi Shin. In this exhibit, six individual artists and five collaborative teams will explore the notion of "paradise" and "utopia" and will present their work in a variety of media ranging from drawing, photography, video, animation, architectural proposal, sculptural installations and performances.

7+Fig Art Center will participate in the Downtown Artwalk nights in April and May, and on each Artwalk night, there will be a performance presented. Todd Gray and Pablo Manzarek will present drum and key board and video projection piece in March, Tiffany Sum and Todd Gray will present a video performance in April, and Liz Glynn and Mariechen Danz will present a culminating performance related to their installation in the show for the May Artwalk night.

Guan Rong will present "Flower and Fruit Mountain", a sculptural installation based on the homeland of the Monkey King character, Sun Wu Kong from Chinese mythology who, in his quest to acquire immortality, he becomes a disciple of Bodhi and accompanies bodhisattva Guanyin in the epic Journey to India to help him retrieve Buddhist sutras.

Hilary Mushkin and Andrew Shenken will present a project, "The Wall to end All Walls: An Internationalist Manifesto", that they created for a MIT architecture competition to envision Jerusalem as a more just place in the year year 2050. Mushkin is a Los Angeles based visual artist and Shenken is an architect based in Berkeley. Their project includes drawings of implausible physical infrastructure born from a radical, absurdist view of the capacity for architecture to create peace. For example, the contradictory Wall to End All Walls is a stretch of jammed earth (like adobe) with neutral international territory on top. It cuts through the hotspots and the mundane spaces of conflict in Jerusalem. The Buried Separation Wall Park, like New York's High Line park, repurposes a piece of dystopic infrastructure into a public green space. And The Dome of the Rock Slide is part of a waterpark at the Temple Mount, where worshippers of all faiths may cleanse themselves in a contemporary ritual of whooping it up together.

Amy Green and Kyungmi Shin will present a sculptural installation. They will create an imaginary landscape that is inspired by the futuristic movies, mangas, and utopian architecture.

Julie Schafer will present a series of photographs that depict MacKinac island's posh resort off of Michigan in Lake Huron. In this resort with a colonial setting, the servers are 100% black wearing maids' costumes and are forbidden to take tips. These series of photographs quesiton the notion of "whose paradise is it?" where the setting is meant to provide a certain comfort and a nostalgic glamour to those who are blind to the metaphoric significance of such a setting.

"Flag Metamorphoses" is a participatory projected by Myriam Thyes, a Dusseldorf based artist. She invited artists from around the globe to create a flash animation of one flag transforming into another flag. The resulting series of animations are full of images and music that depict colonial conflicts and relationships between the countries represented by their flag and animated stories. The animation that will be presented in the exhibit will feature more than 20 artists including Thyes.

Todd Gray will present a photo collage installation created from jungle landscape manipulated by digital noise and abstraction. This large-scale installation will be presented on the window of the 7+Fig Art Center, and will be utilized as a part of the drum, keyboard and video projection performance presented on the opening reception evening of March 12th.

NY based artist Jen Liu will present a video "The Brethren of the Stone: Comfortably Numb" and a large scale watercolor drawing, "Brethren of the Stone: Deployed". Both the video and the drawing are from a series of work based on an imaginary brotherhood, Bretheren of the Stone. The video is the first in a trilogy and describes the journey of a novice in the brotherhood. It is presented in a musical form, the characters singing the lyrics Pink Floyd's "Comfortably Numb" in Latin and to the tune of 14th Century medieval style melodies and chant composed by Zach Layton. The large scale water color diptych describes a fantastical landscape.

Jen Liu will also present a collaborative work with London-based artist, Marte Eknaes.

Liz Glynn and Mariechen Danz will create a collaborative installation that will build up over time. Their installation will culminate on the third Artwalk night in a performance piece.

Christine Nguyen will create a site-specific photo-mural for "Building Paradise". In her statement, she describes her work as "My work imagines that the depths of the ocean reach into outer space, that through an organic prism, vision can fluctuate between the micro- and macroscopic. I have been developing a personal cosmology in which commonalities among species, forms, and environment become visible and expressive, suggesting past narratives and possible futures. The forms and environs in my work sometimes migrate into new pieces, establishing new systems. These systems imagine modes of transportation, communication, and regeneration. There are no waste materials in these worlds: vision is a renewable resource."

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Building Paradise
Kurator: Kyungmi Shin

Künstler: Liz Glynn, Mariechen Danz, Todd Gray, Amy Green, Kyungmi Shin, Jen Liu, Marte Eknaes, Hilary Mushkin, Andrew Shenken, Christine Nguyen, Guan Rong, Julia Schafer, Myriam Thyes, Flag Metamorphoses (participatory project by Myriam Thyes), Yongsoon Min