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Year


2023

Client


Land to Sea NYC

Focus


Commercial art
Illustration
Art direction
Curation
Mixed media



Credits


Curator, artistic director: Jeremy Leung
Facilitators: Eva Zhou, Emily Shum
Featured artists: Jeremy Leung, Ji Zou, David Linchen, Nayon Cho, Kevin Peter He, Dadu Shin

Background


In 2023, I was approached by Land to Sea (LTS), a Brooklyn-based café and creative venue, to curate a three-month-long exhibition. I wanted to craft a multimedia experience by tapping into my network of artists across various disciplines. The theme was "collage" in the most flexible sense, with the creative prompts of "temporality," "fragments," and "memory." My personal art practice reflects a fascination with memories amidst a world filled with digital tools to track the passage of time. Producing a large-scale physical exhibition became an exercise in detaching from my commercial practice and engaging with my community in-person.


Production


As you enter the venue’s warm and inviting dining space, I envisioned several paintings and objects finding a home on its walls (namely by Dadu Shin, David Linchen, and myself). A smaller, neon-lit backroom would feature a provocative large-scale piece by painter Ji Zou and video works by two artists (by Nayon Cho and Kevin Peter He) with complementary styles.

After personally reaching out to the artists and helping them visualize what they would bring to the show, I embarked on creating my largest painting to date. I wanted to significantly expand the visual language I had developed from my sketchbook and involve a three-dimensional element using plastic fabrication. After creating some mock-ups with paper, I sent a composite vector file to Division NYC, a local CNC router to have these shapes cut from a sheet of acrylic.




While the acrylic sheets were in production, I began the process of collaging film photos and pasting them on a wood panel. A loose and intuitive painting style coincided with the pasted photos and eventually formed a base with which to mount the acrylic "fragments." The central challenge was striking a balance between order and chaos: how could I make every stroke seem deliberate enough while also allowing my brush to roam freely across the surface with abandon?

After picking up the final cuts of acrylic, I used various filing tools to create a decaying effect and spray-painted each one in silver. The idea was that these pieces represented an exterior shell that had fallen into disrepair, revealing the true emotional heart beneath i.e the base painting.


 


Credits


Event photography: Haley Ma, Jeremy Leung

Results


The show’s opening reception took place on October 5th, 2023. The event was a major success with over 250 people in attendance. Drinks were provided by Land to Sea along with a beautiful bespoke cake by Yip Studio. Mantis Hands and Kevin Peter He performed a special VJ/DJ set. The work was exhibited until January 7th, 2024 and served as a backdrop for Land to Sea’s customers enjoying coffee and treats during the day and live jazz in the evenings.