Resilient - 5 Years Legacies of Placemaking
Gallery Hours: Tues-Sat, 10-4pm
CCC Visual Art Center
750 Kearny St., 3/F
San Francisco, CA 94108
Concurrent exhibit at the CCC Design Store - Free Trade
Resilient | Five Years Legacies of Placemaking looks back on projects from the past five years organized by Chinese Culture Center of San Francisco (CCC) that addresses the organization's artistic transformation of both public and gallery spaces, as well as its adaptation to the local contexts and place. This eclectic exhibition at the Visual Art Center includes three project documentaries and two exhibition projects showing three affiliated video works. The past experiences explore CCC’s role in the community and in San Francisco as its direction toward redefining place to support a balance of preservation and a contemporary vision of community within the framework of challenges that face a historic neighborhood.
The show begins with Sky Bridge (2015) by Beili Liu, a public art installation that involved collaboration with Chinatown residents, and connects the headquarters of CCC to nearby Portsmouth Square in order to strengthen the relationship between the organization and the community. Following, is Summer Mei-Ling Lee’s Liminal Space/Crossings (2015-17) which explores the cross-ocean experiences of immigrants residing in Chinatown, where the effects can be felt even after several generations. CCC unveiled the project early this year at CCC’s off-site art venue 41 Ross, which turned historic Ross Alley into a beacon by reimagining the stories of immigrants through a lighted projection of the ocean. In juxtaposition, Lam Tung-pang’s unique Curiosity Box (2013) is an experiment based on his perception while visiting San Francisco Chinatown. Lam’s solo show reconstructs his inner world and residential space in the gallery with the materials that he obtained from local sources. It overall subverts the absolute opposition of in and out decided by the given architectural attributions of certain places.
At the end of the gallery in the last bay is an intimate space showcasing video works by three artists that might draw a closer investigation. These video works respectively manifest the distinctive approaches that the artists adopt to resolve their individual concerns based on the ideologies and histories embodied by different places. Two of them are from the most recent exhibition New Urban Legend: Resistance of Space (2017) which used mediums ranging from virtual reality to props, in which artists examine the timely issues of urbanization and respond with creative strategies of resistance. Xu Tan’s Social Botany in San Francisco (2015-16) culminates in one set of videos summarizing his research outcomes, examining the identities of Chinese American Artivists (combining artist and activist) who also serve as community workers in the Bay Area.