CARE Package c/o Philadelphia, PA


Twelve Gates Arts is thrilled to host the inaugural showing of CARE Package c/o Philadelphia, PA, to open on October 5th, 2012. The show will run through October 26th, 2012. 

The exhibition is conceived as a small-scale international traveling show of five female artists from Asia or of Asian descent touching venues in North America as well as Asia. Taking inspiration from the concept of a care package sent to each host country, the artists will ship or bring their gifts in the form of multi-media works that will be shared with local audiences.

A rich tradition exists throughout Asian countries of gift packages exchanged as social contract and, while unwritten, they embody strong cultural, social, political and economic codings. In North America, care packages are associated with goodies sent from loved ones to their children and youth who are away from home (usually off to camp, college, or the military). Historically the CARE package was the unit of aid at the core of the food relief effort developed in 1945 by the US-based humanitarian CARE organization and was sent to a large number of Europeans at risk of starvation in the wake of World War II. It soon became an icon of American generosity and global leadership.
In an era where the concept of “American generosity and global leadership” is a far cry from its meaning during the post-war years, the participating artists will tell stories that grow out of their own personal history and cultural heritage to tackle issues of nationhood, race, gender, religion, and economic exploitation on a world scale, in the context of emergent global capitalism.
Storytelling and a deep interest in history and untold stories is a shared strategy amongst this collective of interdisciplinary artists. The five participating artists are: Shelly Bahl (born in Benares, living between New York and Toronto); Shelly Jyoti (Born in Rohtak, living in New Delhi); Laura Kina (born in Riverside, CA, to a Japanese father and Basque/Anglo mother, and living in Chicago); Saira Wasim (born in Lahore, living in Chicago); and Cambodian-American Anida Yoeu Ali (currently living in Phnom Penh, Cambodia).
In a grass roots diplomatic effort, they are collaborating with an Italian, New Yorkbased curator to conduct a trans-cultural dialogue between their works, their countries of origin, and the intersections and migrations between.
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About the artists and the curator:

Shelly Bahl is a visual and media artist born in Benares, India, and currently based in New York City. Her interdisciplinary work in drawing, painting, sculpture/ installation, photography and video, has appeared in a number of solo and group exhibitions in North America and internationally over the past 16 years. Her recent projects include group exhibitions at: Queens Museum of Art, White Box, Art Gallery of Greater Victoria, India Art Summit, Aicon Gallery, and Religare Arts Initiative.

Shelly Jyoti is a New Delhi based visual artist, fashion-designer, a poet and an independent curator whose research centers on designs of 20th century textiles, costumes and historical iconographic elements within the cultural context of Indian history. Her textile art series 'Indigo Narratives ' (2009-12) and ‘Beyond Mithila' (2008-12) have shown internationally and have been reviewed by leading national newspapers and Art magazines. Her essays and art publications are included in Sahitya Akademi of Indian English literature and Art magazines. She has lectured and held workshop series on 6 &7th Century Indian art-forms in academic institutions and international universities.

Laura Kina is Associate Professor of Art, Media, and Design at DePaul University in Chicago, IL. Her paintings and textile works address Asian American history and mixed race representations. Her artwork has shown internationally and been published in Modeling Citizenship: Jewish and Asian American Writing (Temple University Press, 2011); Other Tongues: Mixed-Race Women Speak Out (Inanna Publications, 2010); and Embracing Ambiguity: Faces of the Future (Cal State Fullerton, 2010); The New Authentics: Artists of the Post-Jewish Generation (Spertus Museum, 2007).

Saira Wasim has carved a niche for herself with her innovative and meticulously crafted Persian miniatures, which she employs to make devastating political and social commentary. Ms. Wasim’s work has been widely feted, and has been exhibited at numerous prominent art institutions including the Whitney Museum of American Art, Asian Art Museum in San Francisco, the Asia Society in New York, and the Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum in Ridgefield, CT. She has recently noted that persecution as an Ahmadiyya Muslim was key in shaping her artistic perspectives. New York Times describes her work as "exquisite political cartoons that conjure and sometimes borrow directly from Norman Rockwell”.

Anida Yoeu Ali is a performance artist, writer, and global agitator. She is a first generation Muslim Khmer woman born in Cambodia and raised in Chicago. In 2011, Ali returned to work in Phnom Penh as part of her U.S. Fulbright Fellowship research on creation mythologies. Utilizing an interdisciplinary approach to art making, her installation and performance works investigate the artistic, spiritual and political collisions of a hybrid transnational identity. From the Faroe Islands to the Bronx, Copenhagen to Ho Chi Minh City, she lectures, exhibits and performs internationally. Ali is a collaborative partner with Studio Revolt, an independent media lab operating out of Phnom Penh where she currently resides.

Ombretta Agrò Andruff is a New York-based freelance curator, art critic and consultant. She has curated solo and group shows in Europe, the US, and India, collaborating with museums, art festivals, and art fairs - such as Queens Museum of Art, Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, The Armory Show, The Art Basel Miami Fair, The Downtown Arts Festival, The d.u.m.b.o. art under the Bridge Festival. She is a New York contributor for Italian art magazines Arte Critica, Tema Celeste, and Label and collaborates as well with the New Yorkbased, The Art Tribune and New York Arts Magazine. She has recently joined the staff of Asian Contemporary Art Week as Associate Director.