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Translated Acts

Queens Museum of Art, New York

Thirty contemporary artists from Japan, Korea, Taiwan, and China will showcase some of their most compelling performance and body art from the last decade. Curator Yu Yeon Kim.

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Thirty contemporary artists from Japan, Korea, Taiwan, and China will showcase some of their most compelling performance and body art from the last decade at the Queens Museum of Art in Translated Acts, on view October 28, 2001 through February 17, 2002. Each featured artist or artists' collective has rendered profound personal social commentary in a variety of media--photographs, video, documentary film, digital art, and/or live performance--that "translates" his or her unique views of eastern culture into a universal "language."

Translated Acts is a collaborative effort between the Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin and the Queens Museum of Art, with guest curator Yu Yeon Kim. Underwriters at the QMA include the Rockefeller Foundation and the Japan Foundation.

Valerie Smith, Director of Exhibitions at the Queens Museum of Art, believes this groundbreaking installation displays "the mastery of the conceptual, sociological, and technological issues of art at this moment." Ms. Smith and Hans-Georg Knopp, Secretary-General of the Haus der Kulturen der Welt, highlight the importance of this art form to the history of contemporary art in their introduction to the accompanying catalogue: "The transgressive qualities of performance--its ephemerality, its denial of the conventional object, its investigative impulse--occupies such an abstract area of art practice that its value is often questioned, if not entirely overlooked, by the [art] establishment." Without performance art, however, "other art forms would appear less meaningful."

Eastern and western cultures have exchanged ideas and images over the centuries with amazingly disparate results. Western societies have often assimilated the temporal manifestations of ancient Eastern philosophies and designs into their artistic, religious, health, and business practices while ignoring the underlying symbolism. In contrast, eastern artists have adopted Western society's intense manipulation of image into their rigid social systems, reinforcing deeply entrenched beliefs, but ignoring the inherent western freedom of expression that inspires the creative process.

The Eastern artists selected for this exhibition go that extra step and incorporate both Eastern and Western symbols and technologies in the open critique of their cultures' hierarchical structures, social conditioning, and the roles of politics and gender in the articulation of body and self.

To demonstrate the uniqueness of the artists and the cultures they represent, a monthly series of performances by North and South American artists will offer intriguing contrasts and comparisons to their western counterparts, with programs focusing on such themes as body, comedy, gender, food, and identity.

Other exhibition highlights include tours by guest curator, Kim; artists' talks, performance workshops, and a collaboration with Performance Space in Queens.

Translated Acts complements the Queens Museum of Art's future retrospective of the seminal performance artist Joan Jonas, who has been working in the genre since the late 1960s. Jonas will appear in a live performance during the run of Translated Acts, exploring differences in body perception in the East and West.

Yu Yeon Kim is an independent curator based in New York and Seoul. She has served as a Commissioner at the third Kwangju Biennial, South Korea (2000), and the second Biennial of Johannesburg, South Africa (1997). She has curated exhibitions at the United Nations, the Mexico City Museum, Exit Art, the Ilmin Museum of Art, Seoul, and online at the web sites of and the Guggenheim Museum. Ms. Kim received the 1999 Asian Cultural Council Humanity Research Fellowship.

Translated Acts contains nudity, violence, death, and explicit sexual material. Due to the graphic nature of the exhibition, parental guidance is suggested and certain sections of the exhibition will be off-limits to children under sixteen.

Yu Yeon Kim Guest Curator

Xu Bing, Chieh-jen Chen, Wenda Gu, Tehching Hsieh, Ho Siu-kee, Hey-yeun Jang, Michael Joo, Atta Kim, Young Jin Kim, Ja-young Ku, Takehito Koganezawa, Qi Li, Young Kyun Lim, Chun-chi Lin, Tian Miao Lin, Ma Liuming, Mariko Mori, Motohiko Odani, Qiu Zhijie, Chiharu Shiota, Gong Xin Wang, Wang Jian Wei, Wang Xiaoshuai, Yuan Goang-Ming, Zhang Huan, Zhu Jia

Queens Museum of Art
New York City Building, Flushing Meadows Corona Park Queens, New York 11368-3398
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