Featuring the work of nine emerging artists – David Atkin, Alison Chen, Chemin Hsiao, Jeesu Kim, Sona Lee, Joy McKinney, Elias Popa, Hiba Schahbaz, and Vanessa Turi – connected by a visual narrative context, Touch of Remembrance explores the everyday moments of encountering individuals of unfamiliar faces, who we call "strangers," and the complex process of individuals moving from strangers to non-strangers. The works on view include drawings, photographs, paintings, sculptures, and videos – a selection of new and recent work of the nine selected artists.
Here is an obvious statement: every person we know started as a stranger, including ourselves. From no named person to a named one and an overlooked face to a recognizable face, we give special attention and affection to the one who used to be “the unknown.” How many strangers do we encounter each day, especially in an overcrowded place like New York City? The city itself is full of individuals from all around the world, even from places we are not familiar with. We are constantly observed by others and we observe them as well. Touch of Remembrance presents artists living in New York City who have not met one another before. Through the exhibition's theme, they are connected to one another physically to create a meaningful experience to viewers. The development of this exhibition from beginning to the end echoes the process of strangers becoming non-strangers and creating meaningful relationships and memories.
Rather than seeing these artworks as objects, the exhibition asks the viewers to perceive them as individuals. Like parent and child, every artist and artwork are deeply connected in a complex manner. While all nine artists look to visual source of inspiration and reflect the immediate present art of today, David Atkin explores the surreal-ness of the everyday objects and figures to convey more than what they may seem to be; Alison Chen focuses on the nostalgic memories of young lovers who fall in and out of love, becoming strangers again; Chemin Hsiao seeks to stay at the moment by drawing on subway everyday with two strangers, the person in the front and the artist himself; Jeesu Kim observes people’s reactions to her repetitive and odd behavior in a public space; Sona Lee presents her desire to understand life and fragility of human existence and relationship; Joy McKinney experiments the immediate reactions of people when a stranger approaches them; Elias Popa expresses the struggle of identity and expressions of oneself; Hiba Schahbaz investigates issues of self-identification; Vanessa Turi presents powerful and majestic portraiture of ordinary people. It is through their works of art the artists first “meet” one another, leading from one work to another in a narrative matter and discovering something new about their work in a different viewpoint and they meet again as non-strangers during the four days of exhibition.