An Artist Panel Discussion featuring Gaye Chan, Sean Connelly (via Skype), and SheenRu Yong. Moderated by Gary Liu.
Each of the artists Gaye Chan, Sean Connelly, and SheenRu Yong asks of us to rethink the ways in which we are engaging with the surface of what we are fed about what Hawai‘i and its current landscape is. They challenge us to reconsider and re-determine what our relationship to Hawai‘i is, was, and might become in the future.
Chan will be presenting her collaborative project, an agitprop tour company DownWind Productions, which examines the impact of colonialism, capitalism and tourism in Hawai‘i. Connelly will discuss his work Land Division and the concept of the watershed, as well as his ongoing research on environment, land use, global interconnections and Hawai‘i. Yong will be exploring her work FLOOD / turn the tide, a collaborative community project and exchange in Hawai‘i and Taiwan involving community oral histories and dance theater.
This panel will engage in discussion on site, land use, arts activism, and creative practice and will be moderated by scholar Gary Liu, University of Hawai‘i.
DownWind Productions is a collaborative formed to examine the impact of colonialism, capitalism, and tourism in Hawai’i. DW distributes information and agitprop commodities through the marketplace and e-commerce to help tourists and locals alike understand our complicity in the decimation of Hawaii’s land and people, and to imagine different relationships with each other and with our own desires and longings. downwindproductions.com
Sean Connelly focuses on systems and softness. (Rocks may be examples of softness, especially where land moves air, becomes wet, and feeds.) His interdisciplinary backgrounds in ecology, architecture, visual art, and economy explore the interactions of material, information, energy, and time as intergenerational planetary systems that humans design, and redesign. Sean is the author of Hawai‘i Futures, with sculptures including A Small Area of Land, and Land Division. His forthcoming projects include Hi-Atlas, and Hydraulic Islands. He has contributed to international design publications for Archis/Volume and Princeton Architectural Press, with a portfolio of work that includes research and design projects for the Whitney Museum in New York, the Venice Biennale, the Hawai‘i State Department of Transportation, and the Honolulu Museum of Art. His work has been presented on TEDx, and published on different venues online, like BLDGBLOG. From the sloped and fluted faces of Kona and Ko‘olaupoko of O‘ahu, Sean (b.1984) is a graduate of Castle High School. He received his Bachelors of Environmental Urban Design and Doctorate of Architecture from the University of Hawai‘i, and holds a Masters in Design in Landscape, Urbanism, and Ecology with concentration in Real Estate Development and City Making from Harvard University. He is most passionate about being an uncle, brother, and friend, and believes the Hawaiian Islands are among the biggest places on Earth.
Gary Liu is a lecturer in the Department of Art and Art History at the University of Hawai΄i at Mānoa, where he has focused on translating the department’s high volume global art surveys into specialized learning avenues, including their first intensive and condensed formats, first Honors Program adaptations, and, most recently, first online, distance-learning course designs. He received his BA in art history from the Tyler School of Art at Temple University and his MA in Asian art history from the University of Hawai΄i at Mānoa, where his research focused on 20th-century China, especially the early development of a modernist concept, artistic control in the Cultural Revolution, dissident art and discursive interference in official spaces, evolution of contemporary exhibition spaces, and the introduction, growth and commercialization of the Chinese avant-garde in the global arena. Based on this work, he curated the exhibition Tumultuous Traditions: Chinese Ink Painting in the 20th Century (November 2009-February 2010) for the Honolulu Museum of Art.
SheenRu Yong is a Taiwanese American dancer, choreographer, and community organizer and the founder of body portal theatre, a platform which seeks to honor and develop the creative potentials of the individual, collective, and environmental bodies we inhabit. Her career began at Wesleyan University and was influenced by her time in New York City and Taipei, where she was commissioned and inspired to choreograph evening-length shows, site-specific works, and community-based performances. While earning her MFA in Choreography at the Taipei National University of the Arts, she toured internationally with Legend Lin Dance Theatre. Under the auspices of the LuoManFei Dance Fund and Taiwan Ministry of Culture, SheenRu is currently Artist-in-Residence at The Leeward Theatre, sponsored by PlayBuilders of Hawai’i Theatre Company. Moved by the many stories and issues she heard on the subject of Water while an Asia Pacific Leadership Fellow at the East West Center in 2013, SheenRu is now spearheading FLOOD / turn the tide, a community-based collaboration and cross-cultural exchange to create an original work with the residents of Oahu while using the same process to foster similar resonance and creative action in Taiwan. www.bodyportaltheatre.com
This artist panel is a part of the 2015 Global Asia/Pacific Art Exchange (GAX) initiatives. 2015 GAX thanks the support of NYU Office of the Provost Global Research Initiatives and major airline sponsor Hawaiian Airlines.
Wei Fang and Kaka‘ako Agora Interisland Terminal, Trisha Lagaso Goldberg, Gaye Chan.