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Multimedia Exhibit Focuses on Migration

Multimedia Exhibit Focuses on Migration

Multimedia Exhibit Focuses on Migration


Kakyoung Lee’s Cat’s Cradle Installation from her Barbed Wire Series

Contributing Writer

March 2, 2023

Miles Leung '26

Migration is an integral part of the modern globalized world. From voluntary migrants to those seeking political asylum, displaced people often find themselves straddling the threshold of two worlds and unable to fit in either. The Tremaine Art Gallery presents SHIFT: Artists Explore the Condition of Human Migration, a multimedia show on migration experiences featuring artists Khaled Barakeh, Carolyn Defrin, Stephan Jahanshahi, Kakyoung Lee, Elena Marchevska, and Judith Stenneken. Mr. Greg Lock, director of the photography, film, and related media program, who curated the exhibit, knew that he wanted this Tremaine show to focus on the theme of migration. One of his main objectives was to make the exhibit relevant to school curriculum. Mr. Lock said, “In photo, the Lower Mids are working on animations about family migration, and in studio art, they’re working with migration as well, so the new exhibit is a really good fit and underscores the whole notion that this is a gallery for educational purposes.” He explained how his process for curating this exhibition started with a few initial contacts that connected him to other artists who share the same thematic interests. Stephan Jahanshahi’s Nation of Desire series explores how community, environment, and narrative shape the Iranian diaspora in the U.S.. As a first-generation American whose Iranian immigrant father fled the Islamic Revolution, Jahanshahi explores how longing for one’s home and assimilating into a foreign culture is a dynamic working-progress. His Puget Sound Haftsin Table portrays traditional components of Nowruz, the Zoroastrian new year celebration that brings in the first day of spring, and pays homage to the presence of Iranians in the U.S. by situating the festival in Puget Sound, WA. “I thought all of the works were compelling projections of the human condition. From the struggle to acclimate to the appreciation of one’s culture, I think each piece had something unique to offer,” photo student Holden Burns ’25 said. German photographer Judith Stenneken presents the plight of Syrian refugees in a series of images taken at the Tempelhof detention center, an abandoned airport. In Bunk Beds on Airfield II, she explores the uncertainty people face while held in the facility on the German border. Khaled Barakeh, a Syrian cultural activist and conceptual artist currently residing in Berlin, created an installation work, On The Ropes, as a response to the war in Syria. Disturbed by the horrific news from home, he moved into his studio and suspended everything 15 cm above the floor — easels, coffee tables, the couch, and even his coffee pot — with monofilament wire. In doing so, his home literally became a place of instability. He lived in this environment for three months. The video in SHIFT is one short work from his immersive experience. Holden Burns ’25 said, “I was especially captivated by Khaled Barakeh’s On The Ropes, which captured the anxiety of being in a place far from one’s home, a sentiment I think a lot of Hotchkiss kids can relate to.” The several animations that look like pencil drawings are, in fact, stop motion sequences made from individual drawings by Kakyoung Lee, a South Korean artist who currently lives in Brooklyn, NY. One animation projects an image of two children playing the game Cat’s Cradle against a wall of cement blocks. For Lee, this piece evokes her memories of playing with her sisters in the Korean Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) along the North and South Korean border. Her large projected animation of beautiful, menacing clouds from the California wildfires evokes the threat of climate change. The Lower Mid photo and visual art students worked in the gallery and talked to some of the artists via Zoom, to better understand the work. “I purposely decided that rather than it being a static installation, the exhibit would include student work as well. After spring break, we’ll add student work that deals with similar themes of migration and what it’s like to be from somewhere else to the exhibit,” Mr. Lock said. The exhibit will run from January 24 to April 8. The Gallery is open on Tuesdays through Saturdays from 10 a.m to 4 p.m. and on Sundays from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Miles Leung is a contributing writer for The Record.

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Editor's Note: This article was recovered from The Record's online archive. There may be stylistic and visual errors that interrupt the reading experience, as well as missing photos. To read this article as it appeared in print, view our print archives.

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Editorials are written by members of The Record's Executive Board. They typically center on issues related to the school or student life on campus.

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