18th Street Arts Center is pleased to present an exhibition of new work by Brooklyn-based, Taiwan-born artist Jennifer Chia-ling Ho (何珈寧), on view in the Atrium Gallery at 1639 18th Street, Santa Monica (Blue Building) from August 16 – September 24. Ho’s practice explores the power and limitation of language, presentation, and research methodology, along with the ways in which they alter the maker-viewer relationship. Her work responds to her experience of geographical and cultural displacement as she integrates into US society and encounters the textual history built in the Western context. While in residence at 18th Street, Ho will consider how identity is discussed through language.
Gallery hours are Monday – Friday from 11 AM – 5 PM. Masks are required.
Living in the US for the past three years, Ho has been constantly reminded of her identity as a Taiwanese, a foreigner, and a nonnative because of her inability to speak ‘perfect’ English and her ‘foreign’ accent. ‘How are you?’ is one of the first sentences taught to non-English speakers. However, in a racially conscious society, the production and pronunciation of this sentence weighs much more heavily than the meaning of this casual greeting.
This exhibition will feature Ho’s new work created at 18th Street: Check the Box, a 5 x 5 x 8 feet installation of five plaster sculptures — representing i, u, y, ə, and a, the five vowel-like sounds used in Mandarin Chinese — placed on wire mesh cubes. This exhibition explores the sense of belonging, nationality, and the complex and sometimes conflicted experience of Asian immigrants in the American discussion of racial identity.
ABOUT THE ARTIST
Jennifer Chia-ling Ho (何珈寧) is a Taiwanese artist based in Brooklyn, New York who uses sculpture, installation, and photography to explore the power and limitation of language, presentation, and research methodology, and how they alter the maker-viewer relationship. Born in Taiwan and now a resident of the US, she responds to this linguistic and cultural displacement, and interrogates the textual history that is based in the Western context. Ho’s work reveals the invisible systems that have mediated the way we think, act, or look at the world and asks how we can reconstruct and decentralize our cultural spaces to include those who have been overlooked.
Ho received her MFA in Sculpture from Pratt Institute, New York. In 2019, She co-founded We Narrate Us, a curatorial collective that aims to develop expanded methods of discussing the complexities of Asian identity. Ho is the recipient of the National Culture and Arts Foundation of Taiwan-International Exchange fellowship, Pratt MFA merit award, Graduate Student Education Fund, and Stutzman Family Foundation Fellowship. Her work has been shown in Super Dutchess Gallery, Deanna Evans Projects, and Inna Art Space in New York and Songshan Cultural and Creative Park and Onfoto Studio in Taipei, Taiwan. She is attending Vermont Studio Center Residency in 2022.
This exhibition and residency is generously supported by Taiwan Academy, Los Angeles, and the Ministry of Culture, Taiwan.