Remembering Things Past
Curated by John Cino & Jay Schuck
November 8 – December 20, 2014
Remembering Things Past features artists born in other countries that are presently living and working in the United States. All art is autobiographical as artists recall past memories, interests, and experiences and incorporate them into his or her artwork. The wide variety of artwork exhibited in the Patchogue Arts Gallery reflects the artists’ unique experience and provides a commentary on the artists’ home country.
The six artists presented in Remembering Things Past arrived at different points in their lives and at different stages in their artistic career. Linda Abadjian arrived as a child in 1984 escaping the Lebanese Civil War. These works were created after her first trip back to Lebanon in 2005. The bombed out buildings, interior scenes, and landscapes of the country examine the destruction of war while offering the possibility of reconstruction.
Pablo Caviedes received his formal education in Ecuador before coming to the United States. His skull and bone sculptures find the artist recalling past experiences of collecting animal bones while exploring the Andes Mountains. These old bones, polished by time and nature, sparked Caviedes’ artistic interest by offering the deceased creature new life in art.
Cui Fei earned a BFA in China before completing her graduate’s studies with an MFA here in the US. As a Chinese artist active in the United States, she witnessed the rapid social changes taking place in China from afar while having to adapt to a radically new American culture. Her installation Manuscript of Nature fuses the Chinese conception of nature, which emphasizes interconnectedness of all living creatures, and the Western theory of Transculturalism, the notion of finding oneself within all human cultures.
Although she has lived in the United States for the past 36 years, Ana Golici still follows current events in Romania and uses her art to express her opinion on the political climate of Romania. Inspired by Christian icon paintings of the Middle Ages popular in Eastern Europe, Golici mounts her microscopic imagery in gilded frames, which reflects the corrupt political system that governs her home country.
Fatima Shakil is a trained miniature painter from Pakistan who recently received an MFA from Stony Brook University. Combining an interest in miniatures and textile design most notably from Persian carpets, Shakil symbolically weaves memories of her past into her work.
In her paintings, photographs, and installations, Shirley Wegner reconstructs landscapes of her childhood in Israel. She offers a comparison between childhood memories and contemporary landscapes of urban decay, natural disasters, and the aftermath of war. Wegner addresses notions of identity, nostalgia, and the mechanisms of territory.