Unison & social distortion

Friday, Nov 3 – 22, 2017 6 – 9 pm

2130-40 W. Fulton, Unit B.
Chicago, IL 60612

Exhibition dates: Friday, November 3, 2017 - to Wednesday, November 22, 2017 

The Chicago Artists Coalition is pleased to present Unison, a BOLT Residency exhibition featuring new work by Mayumi Lake.

In Ancient Japan, when political chaos and a series of natural disasters occurred, the people believed the last days of this world were near. To calm their fear and despair, they filled sacred prayer sites with bright and bold mythical flowers, believed to bloom through the afterlife. Those flowers were called Housouge (pronounced Housou-gae). The bigger the fear and despair, the more colorful and immense the flowers.

Mayumi Lake’s new series of sculptural photographic work, Unison, feature her interpretation of the mythic heavenly flowers or Housouge. The blossoms are constructed from motifs scanned directly from girls’ vintage kimonos. They are both cut and then reassembled by hand, and include toy parts, plastic flowers, imitation gold, sequins, and various other objects that recall Lake’s own childhood in Japan. The use of the kimono goes beyond being just a reference to her cultural heritage. It signifies a dying cultural tradition, as the use of this traditional garb has all but disappeared and is relegated to a symbolic gesture reserved for special and rare occasions. Lake’s choice of objects and toys directly references her own childhood, which was saturated with objects that alluded to American pop culture. Elements of the two opposing cultures are intertwined, creating a strained and unique harmony that is illuminated through the constructed blossoms.

The ominous mood and the idea of Mono-no-Aware (the awareness of impermanence) has been cast onto Lake’s recent works, always hinting at reincarnation and its association with death. As a natural progression, Lake’s focus has shifted to expand and decipher the life after death. The blossoms that are threaded throughout Unison represent a vision of Bardo, where the soul floats between life after death, a state similar to the Western idea of purgatory. This in-between state echoes her own existence - a cultural hybrid somewhere between East and West.

This exhibition has been made possible with a grant from the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events, and Faculty Enrichment grant from School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

The Chicago Artists Coalition is pleased to present social distortion, a HATCH Projects exhibition featuring new works by Rebecca Himelstein and Joseph Wilcox.

Dissonance can be generally described by a lack of agreement on something, two similar frequencies create a discordant drone or sets of information don’t quite add up. The incongruity presented can be jarring, delightful, or comically absurd.

The work presented in social distortion considers data, systems of comprehension and context as one. Two artists inspired by theories, respectively manifest interpretations of their studies. Rebecca Himelstein’s research driven studio practice surfaces sound installations and minimal works on paper that articulate personal metaphors for affective spaces between people, and a curiosity for affect theory. Joseph Wilcox’s deep dark internet probing reveals the conspiracies surrounding a man named Martin Klein, uncovering the evidence of his findings as images, video and sound.

social distortion is curated by Meg T. Noe.


Free and open to the public