February 16 – April 29, 2017
Thursday, February 16 // 5–7 p.m.
In her non-medium specific paintings, Nicole Awai moves fluidly between two and three dimensions, and employs popular commercial materials such as nail polish, to explore notions of identity and history. Born in Trinidad, Awai received her MFA in Multimedia Art in 1996 from the University of South Florida. She also attended the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in 1997. Her work has been included in several seminal exhibitions, including the first Greater New York: New Art in New York Now at P.S. 1/MoMA (2000); Open House: Working in Brooklyn (2004) and Infinite Island: Contemporary Caribbean Art (2007), both at the Brooklyn Museum; the 2008 Busan Biennale in Korea; and Global Caribbean: Focus on the Contemporary Caribbean Visual Art Landscape at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Puerto Rico (2011). Awai was a featured artist in the 2005 I.P.O. series at the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York. Her recent solo exhibitions include Asphaltum Glance, Alice Yard, Port of Spain, Trinidad (2013); Washington Square Windows installation Mi Papi, Dream On – Happy Ending…, 80wse Galleries, New York University (2012); and Almost Undone, The Vilcek Foundation, New York, NY (2011). Awai was awarded the Joan Mitchell Foundation Painters and Sculptors Grant in 2011 and an Art Matters Grant in 2013.
September 29, 2016 – February 4, 2017
In Leviathans, Jiwon Park examines the flags of 206 sovereign nations, whether recognized by the United Nations or not. She turns these symbols of utopian aspirations to national cohesion into pie-chart-like objects, emphasizing their standardized character based on carefully calibrated percentages of colors. These cool, geometric, abstract forms raise questions: How do they engender patriotic fervor, rally and unite? How do these symbols generate perceptions of shared values and histories? The issues embedded in Park’s installation resonate strongly—especially today, when volatile national politics and global conflict has resulted in the greatest number of migrants ever recorded in history.
Born and raised in Seoul, Park is a graphic designer, visual communicator, educator and social entrepreneur. With professional experience in the private sector, including at Samsung Electronics, London-based Brand Environment Ltd., and her own design studio DAREZ Inc.; she is interested in using design processes to catalyze social change. She is a co-founder of the social enterprise 1/2 Project, as well as an organization called Design Can Do, which hosts interdisciplinary design-thinking workshops to engage diverse stakeholders in tackling local social issues.
A former Fulbright Scholar, Park received an MFA in Graphic Design from the Rhode Island School of Design and a BFA in Visual Information Design from Ewha Womans University. She is currently an assistant professor of Design in the Department of Art and Art History at The University of Texas at Austin.