Unlike sexuality that comes from within the individual, gender role is formed through parental, peer, school and social influences. Many of our early views of life come from the first teachers we encounter. Often our first taste of socially held beliefs such as girls look pretty and are passive, while boys do and are active, are provided to us at this early age. It is important for children to develop strong egos in their socialization phase that can withstand peer and social pressure and to continue in creating healthy relationships.
With this exhibition largely comprised of delicately appliqued, sewn, pinned and woven works, we are challenging traditionally assigned sex roles and preconceived notions about what are and are not female or male work practices. Consequently, we hope to dispel traditional gender assignations to the work of these artists working with methods traditionally considered as “women’s work” because they are delicately and painstakingly produced.
Eozen Agopian for example sews her artworks, a task usually attributed to women, yet she seeks to cross the border of art and objecthood by alluding to painting in her highly worked delicately sewn and woven fabric works. Renee Magnanti’s patterns serve her as leitmotifs in producing works that are interlaced, crisscrossed, or interwoven like fiber art. She combines ethnic patterns in her effort to help us see the common bond between peoples of different geographic backgrounds. The making of Nicholas Moore’s highly embellished canvasses was greatly impacted through his rearing by parents in the fashion industry. Moore’s mixed media works are encrusted and worked with glittery materials that because of their fragile nature may wrongly be considered feminine in gender stereotyping. Ran Hwang’s work has also been influenced by fashion for it consists of thousands of pinned buttons formulating her subjects that range from Buddhist temples, to spiders and plum blossoms. Hwang partakes of the theory of opposites as in the yin and yang of her native Korean country and because of her background in Buddhist philosophy reflects upon the ephemerality of life. Maria Karametou creates intricate, exquisite and dainty pieces that in their fragility signal what would be popularly taken as feminine embroidery. Karametou's work is multifaceted, however, and juxtaposes the delicate nature of what might be found in a female’s dowry in Ancient Greece against the cold, metallic, métier with her title’s references to war or conflict. Bill Pangburn’s multi-color relief prints are defined by linear arabesques that can be associated with ornamental beauty. His vertical scroll format prints are very work-intensive in their use of line that because of their sinuous curves allude to rivers and curvilinear paths meandering through the landscape. Pangburn’s artistic vocabulary, because of its linear quality can be associated with text and calligraphy as well as the act of writing. Liang Long deals with issues of gender and sexuality in his paintings such as Emergency Exit No. 7 that depicts the interior of the female reproductive system painted white, overlain over red cabbage roses on a green background shared by golden phoenix birds. The color red corresponds to fire thus stands for joy, luck, happiness, and of course Communism. The phoenix has a long history in Chinese culture as sign of virtue, grace and luck while also being one of the four sacred animals called ‘si ling’ and is often shown coupled with the dragon to mean heaven and earth or union of yin and yang (Feng-Huang.) Konstantinos Stamatiou’s red sculptures Inside I, Inside II, Inside III, are created with straws cut in varying sizes to result in beautiful curvatures that incorporate the space around them. By using straws, Stamatiou has mastered his media to produce ephemeral pieces in which the void is as important as the solid. By so doing, Stamatiou is not only referencing consumerist culture but he also demonstrates concern for the environment.
These eight artists were used as examples to break with past models of gender classification embracing the individual aesthetic and unique working method of each show participant. At its core the exhibition questions the idea of ‘women’s work’ by suggesting that it is a social construct perhaps in the service of making the male feel more powerful. It should also take us one step further into de-constructing the traditional stereotypes that in the past have excluded trans-sexuals, and gays.
Curated by: Thalia Vrachopoulos
例如，尤森·阿格皮恩（Eozen Agopian）的作品是缝制而成——这通常是女人从事的工作。但是她试图跨越艺术和实体的边界，将绘画技艺巧妙地融入到了这件精心缝制的绚丽作品之中。蕾妮·马尼安蒂（Renee Magnanti）将图案贯穿创作过程始终，它们宛如纤维一般相互交织、横纵交错。她将具有民族气息的图案融入到作品当中，向我们展示了不同地域的人们之间共同的纽带。尼古拉斯·莫尔（Nicholas Moore）的帆布织物作品绚丽多姿，其创作风格很大程度上受到了在时尚界工作的父母的影响。在莫尔的混合媒体作品的外层，精心镶饰上了闪闪发光的材料，搭配相得益彰，由于易碎的特性，这些镶饰在性别刻板印象里可能会被错认为是女性化的。黄兰（Ran Hwang）的作品同样受到了时尚的影响。她的作品是由数千个纽扣用大头针别制而成的佛教寺庙、蜘蛛和梅花。她吸收了其祖国——韩国的阴阳理论；同时，因为信奉佛教，其作品中也体现了对生命无常的反思。玛丽亚·卡拉米图（Maria Karametou）创作了复杂细腻、精美和雅致的作品。这些作品因纤弱的特色，常常被认为是女性化的刺绣。但是，作品中融合了多种元素——在战争和冲突的主题下，她把古希腊妇女嫁妆中可能发掘出的精致特点，和冰冷且具有金属感的工艺并列呈现。比尔·庞勃（Bill Pangburn）多彩绚丽的浮雕印花体现了美丽的阿拉伯花纹的线性特征。他的垂直滚动条式样印花作品在线条的使用上花了很大功夫，用弯曲的线条呈现了河流和自然风景中蜿蜒的小径。在线条的使用上，庞勃的艺术表现手法和文字、书法以及写作艺术一脉相通。梁龙（Liang Long）通过绘画来表达他对性别和性的理解，比如《安全出口.7》描绘了女性生殖器的内部，他将其画成白色，覆在红色的西洋蔷薇上面，而后面是绿色的背景，上面有金色的凤凰。红色象征了火，因而也代表了快乐、幸运、幸福，当然也代表了共产主义。凤凰在中国文化中有着悠久的历史，作为“四灵”（四种神兽）之一，象征了美德、优雅和好运，而且往往和龙一起出现，象征着天地或者阴阳的结合（凤—凰。）康斯坦丁诺斯·斯塔曼提欧（Konstantinos Stamatiou）的红色雕塑《内部1》、《内部2》和《内部3》是由长短不一的稻草构成的美丽曲线，与周围的空间融为一体。通过使用稻草，他巧妙地运用媒介创作了稍纵即逝的作品。在这些作品中，虚与实被赋予了同样的重要性。这样做不只暗指了消费主义文化，同时也表达了对环境的担忧。