The Wayfinding Project (March 25-December 21, 2016)

Asian/Pacific/American Institute at NYU, Gallery
8 Washington Mews

On view Monday-Friday, 11AM-5PM* through December 21, 2016

Master navigators of Oceania explored and settled what Epeli Hau’ofa called the “sea of islands”—one third of the Earth’s surface—and developed astute skills of observation and deep knowledge of the ocean, sky, and cosmos. This long distance voyaging tradition was nearly lost under colonial rule. In 1976, under the teachings of Micronesian master navigator Mau Piailug, the Polynesian Voyaging Society built and set sail the Hōkūleʻa, a performance accurate Polynesian double-hulled voyaging canoe, thus launching a new era of Hawaiian Renaissance and Pacific cultural revival. On June 5, 2016, the Hōkūleʻa will arrive in New York City as part of a worldwide voyage with the intention to reactivate and revalue human relationship to Earth.

Inspired by the Polynesian Voyaging Society and the Lenape peoples, The Wayfinding Project is initiated by John Kuo Wei Tchen and the Asian/Pacific/American Institute at NYU, in collaboration with artist Beatrice Glow, to promote curiosity, research, and decolonize New York’s history.  The project heeds this ancient wayfinding practice for environmental, cultural, and philosophical stewardship, towards exploring and documenting Lenape knowledge of Mannahatta, the pre-seventeenth century New York brimming with a diverse and dense geo-culture of land and waters.

Beatrice Glow’s evolving installation questions the representation of Indigenous cultures in relation to aesthetics of colonial history. The objects, paintings, and prints on view each have augmented reality features—videos, animations, sound media—that superimpose alternative visions to Eurocentric worldviews. On display are three paintings on mylar overlaying reproductions of British and Dutch colonial maps against the backdrop of a galactic mural, immersive digital fabric prints of Hōkūleʻa and a Native American Three Sister Garden, an HMS Bounty ship model, a replica of a 17th century compass, and books that reference a history of oceanic exploration.

In the spirit of collaboration, this installation doubles as a lab activated by research and dialogue led by Lenape and Pacific scholars, culture bearers, and communities, to piece together the surviving historical fragments of land dispossession, dislocation, and diasporas. The findings will inform the creation of additional augmented and virtual reality experiences that will contribute to the envisioning and shaping of an Indigenous futurism.

*The gallery will close at 2PM on December 13.

The Wayfinding Project Programs

The Wayfinding Project Inaugural Ceremony on Thursday, March 24, 2016, 6-8PM

Augmented and Virtual Reality Demonstration Sessions on Monday, April 4, 2016, 3-5PM
Open hours with “The Wayfinding Project” artist and curator Beatrice Glow at 8 Washington Mews. Visitors will be able to observe and participate in the installation’s virtual and augmented-reality features. No registration required.

Augmented and Virtual Reality Demonstration Sessions as part of Creative Tech Week on Monday, May 2-Friday, May 6, 2016, 2-5PM
Open hours with “The Wayfinding Project” artist and curator Beatrice Glow at 8 Washington Mews. Visitors will be able to observe and participate in the installation’s virtual and augmented-reality features. No registration required. Details.

The Wayfinding Project: Closing Showcase on Thursday, December 8, 2016, 6:30-8:30PM

Other Installations Developed by The Wayfinding Project


About the Artist

Beatrice Glow is an interdisciplinary artist whose practice comprises of sculptural installations, trilingual publishing, and participatory and lecture performances. Her research mines the relationship between Asia and the Americas, investigating transpacific cultural circulations, as well as persistent, romanticized notions of the exotic “other.” She earned a BFA in studio art from New York University, and is currently a Visiting Scholar in the Asian/Pacific/American Institute. Recent activities include a residency at LES Studio Program, a program of Artists Alliance Inc., New York, NY; a solo project at Wave Hill, New York, NY; finalist for the Joan Mitchell Foundation Emerging Artist Award; digital publishing with the Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY; and lecture performances at Asia Society, New York, NY; and “My Art Guide: Venice Meeting Point,” 56th Venice Biennale as part of Asian Contemporary Art Week. Her work has been featured in recent exhibitions at Cuchifritos Gallery, New York, NY; the Bronx Museum of the Arts; Zebrastraat Gallery, Gent, Belgium; El Museo del Barrio, New York, NY; and Museo de Arte Contemporaneo de Arequipa, Peru. In 2014, Glow received the Franklin Furnace Fund to organize the Floating Library, a pop-up public space with free programming aboard the Lilac Museum Steamship, New York, NY. As a Hemispheric Institute of Performance and Politics’ Council Member she also helped launch the Performing Asian/Americas workgroup in 2014 at the Encuentro 2014 in Montreal. In 2008–9, she was awarded a Fulbright scholarship to retrace coolie geography in Peru. She is preparing for an upcoming solo exhibit at the Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes de Chile in 2016. Support for Glow’s paintings featured in The Wayfinding Project was provided by Artists Alliance Inc.