The work presented in Seeking and Offering points to a higher essence by reconnecting us with
our past while looking to the future. The exhibition will include weavings by
Robin Kang, sculpture by Steffen Sornpao, and paintings by Sarah West.
Inspired by her southwestern upbringing, Robin Kang reinterprets the tradition of weaving within a contemporary context. Utilizing a digitally operated Jacquard hand loom, the contemporary version of the first binary operated machine and argued precursor to the invention of the computer, she hand weaves tapestries that combine ancient symbolism, computer related imagery, and digital mark making. The juxtaposition of textiles with electronics opens an interesting conversation of reconciling the old with the new, traditions with new possibilities, as well as the relationship between textiles, symbols, language, and memory. Kang has exhibited throughout the US, Canada, Spain, Belgium, France, Austria, Indonesia, and Saudi Arabia. Recent institutional shows include the Queens Museum, the Essl Museum, John Michael Kohler Arts Center, U.S Embassy in Saudi Arabia and Brooklyn Academy of Music, among others. She has participated in artist residencies in Texas, Michigan, Massachusetts, and Beijing. Kang is the founder and director of Penelope, a artist-run project space in Ridgewood, Queens, and also an Adjunct Professor in the Fiber and Material Studies Department at Tyler School of Art, teaching courses in digital weaving and fabric dyeing.
Steffen Sornpao (b.1991) lives and works in Atlanta, GA. Sornpao's practice traffics in uses of sustainability, current trends of preppers, homsteaders and off-the-grid living, as well as recyclability and reuse as used in folk and craft art making. Recent shows include Can I get 1G in the chat? at the Atlanta Contemporary Art Center, Atlanta, GA, Ev-ree-thing at Hi-Lo, Atlanta, GA, House Amphibia at Argha Noah, Atlanta, GA, Lump Lines at Mild Climate, Nashville, TN, and Ripe Not to Reason at inparadi.se, an online presentation.
Sarah West makes paintings that depict multi-layered spaces evoking digital experiences alternately idiosyncratic and universal. The work references Early Renaissance paintings, familiar Photoshop tropes, computer games, hand-manipulated digital scans and stock computer wallpaper. Recent paintings within this series feature abstract glyph-like markings that appear to be erased, giving way to a separate layer of space. These markings are inspired by finger swipes on touchpads and mobile device, oily traces of interaction with the screen a merging of tactile and virtual fields. The searching intimacy of the hand in relation to its digital device echoes the relationship we once held with illuminated manuscripts, intended to simultaneously mesmerize in their divine depictions and provide an accessibility to the sacred. Through pairing sacred narratives of the Renaissance with digital symbols, the work suggests the spiritual undercurrents within digital technology in its potential for enlightenment, transcendence, and evoking a sense of the infinite. West has exhibited her work nationally in many group shows and in recent solo shows in Washington,DC and Winston-Salem, NC. West was featured in the South 2016 edition of the juried art publication New American Paintings. She currently lives and works in Miami, Florida.