Family Portrait Feature Image


Family Portrait

Family Portrait is a curatorial project that will take place in the 205 Hudson Project Space beginning September 4, 2019, and will include works by Areum Yang, Nick Fusaro, Leo Madriz, Ludovic Nkoth, Paasha Motamedi, Aditi Shah, Kathleen Granados, Kajin Kim, Sam Sherman, and Julie Zhu.

Every culture has the tradition of family portraits, stylized and formalized versions of our family stories that we present to the world, on our mantels or in our wallets. But real family experiences are messy, conflicted, loving, supportive, distant, overbearing, emotional, personal. These stories, both the formal and the real, are the threads we choose to pick up or not, in creating our own personal histories. This show will bring together artists who work on themes of family and storytelling, whose work constitutes abstracted or deconstructed family portraits. How do we make our own private family portraits, in media that refracts through ancient (poetry/painting) to modern technology (Whatsapp/FaceTime)? How do the stories of our families, or objects that they've touched, or perspectives on the world they've given us, become a collective portrait of ourselves and our contexts? These evolving self-portraits and family portraits are never static, but hold in them the tension of loving and living in modern society.

This page will function as an online sketchbook before the show opens on September 4th, and as a catalogue after it closes.

Kathleen Granados

Origins, 2018 Dishtowels, spoons, fabric, modeling paste 23 x 12.5 in.

Nick Fusaro

Fire and Forget, installation view, Marwan, 2017

Kajin Kim

Breath, 2017. Single channel video installation, dimensions variable.

Leo Madriz

Still from HOME NOT HOME, mixed media, single channel video, audio, 11:17min, 2019

Ludovic Nkoth

Paul Biya (The Fall of a Republic), 2018

Untitled, 2019

Untitled, 2019

Alexandria Ryahl

Aditi Shah

These images from India deal with aging, nostalgia, and the stretching of families across oceans. I did not plan this theme, but the simple idea of “frames” became a comforting thread as I looked through my roll of film.

Some photographs are lighter interpretations of the word. My mother watches me from a train’s window frame, amused at how seriously I will chase an image, and yet kindly indulging me.

Others are heavier. The shots of photo frames of ancestors lovingly placed in Indian homes. As a kid, whenever I’d visit an Indian family’s house, I would curiously observe these looming beloved family members. The frames were often hung next to everyday items, but they were adorned with flowers, beads and red kumkum powder, setting them apart as transcendent. Though the weight and expectations of religion often frustrated me, I was always touched by how these adornments attempted a spiritual bridge to the black and white void of lost loved ones.


Julie Zhu

Areum Yang

To grandma - I will love you all the same

What set her apart was that, she could exist despite not existing. This made her even more impressive. I had to devote myself to undergoing anguish and grief everyday in order to be able to see even the dust of her shadow. Finally I noticed that the ability to see someone’s movement comes only after such devotion.

My works come from my diary. When I wrote the diary, I began to think about how difficult and tough it is to see someone’s movements. Losing the chance to see those movements made me withdraw deep inside myself and made me feel helpless. When I think about her all day long, she appears in my dreams. The hope I earnestly wish for during the day cannot fail to be realized in a dream. That place inside my dream is the only world where I can see her moving, hear her voice and talk to her.

For me, the process of painting is a kind of ritual. I draw pictures that will become a collage, pictures about time spent with a loved one, about a place, a conversation, a look. Working through such a process relieves my longing for, and my fervent wish to see my loved one at the same time as it sets the stage for me to meet her in my dreams. After my ritual effort of making the pictures, she finally appears in my dreams and talks to me. The dreams are so vivid that they make me believe I will see her again. After waking from a dream, I recall a scene of the dream, cutting and pasting the outcomes that I had wished for earlier. The works that result could capture events that happened in the dreams or they could be feelings from the dreams. The world of dream that I reproduced is incomplete. It is impossible for me to fully record every details of dream even if I put a notebook on a bedside. I attach fabric on the wall to represent imperfect but beautiful world he and I went during the night, and shape the memories of together on the canvas.

All works: Fragments of Broken Dream, 2016. Oil, crayon, pencil on canvas, 18 x 18 inches

Paasha Motamedi

oma and four persimmons, 2017

oma in her chair, 2015

Sam Sherman