Recently opened at The Asian Art Museum, San Francisco is “Proximities 2: Knowing Me, Knowing You,” the second show in an intimate trilogy of exhibitions exploring the culturally and geographically vast idea of Asia through the diverse perspectives of Bay Area artists. Curated by Glen Helfand, each Proximities exhibition features 8-16 artworks that explore this question and more specifically: how well do objects and ideas convey an accurate sense of Asia? The series examines themes such as real and imagined landscapes; family and community; and trade and commerce. The series’ artworks reflect the artists’ personal proximities to Asia and Asian history.
On view through December 8th, “Proximities 2: Knowing Me, Knowing You” features painting, sculpture, video and photography as reflections of family, community and ethnicity within and beyond Asia’s geographic boundaries. The exhibition includes 16 new and recent works by Kota Ezawa, Mik Gaspay, Michael Jang, Pawel Kruk, Barry McGee, Anne McGuire and Charlene Tan, who express connections, conceptions and interpretations of Asia through themes of interpersonal relationships, relocation and dislocation.
Highlights include McGee’s installation of paintings that explores the symbolic meaning of a family name and fictional identities, and Jang’s photos of his extended Bay Area family around 1973 in a shifting social context. One of Ezawa’s animated videos recreates footage of a Japanese financial reporter, who bears the artist’s name. The process of finding connections with others is also explored by Kruk, a Polish-born artist who lip-synchs a notorious interview with martial-arts superstar Bruce Lee; and Tan, whose works involve imagined dialogues with her mother and with the artist Yayoi Kusama, women who influence Tan’s identity as a Filipino American artist.