Tales of Two Cities exhibit opens at Bruce Museum

East meets West in the Bruce Museum’s latest exhibit, Tales of Two Cities: New York & Beijing, which opens on Saturday, May 3.

The exhibition focuses on two of the world’s leading centers of art, New York and Beijing, and offers a visual pairing of five New York-based artists with five Beijing-based artists. The 10 artists have been engaged in different global, cross-cultural, artistic dialogues over the course of two years via email, Skype, and in-person meetings. Their conversation has ranged from issues such as political and social upheaval within their respective home nations, to the concept of global culture, to questions about their use of certain materials and techniques.

The concept for this show grew out of an earlier collaboration in 2010 curated by Pan Qing at Columbia University’s Beijing-based Studio X, between New York-based artist Michelle Fornabai and Beijing-based artist Qin Feng, both of whom are featured in the present show.

The curators matched the pairs based partly on the kind of work that they do and their artistic processes, but more importantly on the type of dialogue in which they suspected the artists might engage within the context of their respective urban environments. Many of the ten artists are themselves “peripatetic, on the move between global art centers,” not only New York and Beijing, but also in Latin America and Europe.

Paired artists include: Michelle Fornabai of New York and Qin Feng of Beijing, Joan Snyder of New York and Wei Jia of Beijing, Alois Kronschlaeger of New York and Lin Yan of Beijing, Jorge Tacla of New York and Li Taihuan of Beijing, Simon Lee of New York and Chen Shaoxiong of Beijing.

“We hope our viewers will examine the relationships between the artists,” says Susan Ball, Deputy Director of the Bruce Museum, in a press release. “Not only within each cross-cultural pair or among the group of 10 multi-national artists, but also more broadly as part of the larger geopolitical and aesthetic dialogue taking place between the two cultures.”

The exhibition runs through Aug. 31 and is supported by Century Way Enterprise Ltd., The Charles M. and Deborah G. Royce Exhibition Fund and a Committee of Honor, co-chaired by Mamie Lee and Susan Lynch.

The show will be accompanied by a cell phone audio tour guide program, Guide by Cell, underwritten by Nat and Lucy Day. Easy-to-follow instructions will be available at the admissions desk.

The Bruce Museum is located at One Museum Drive. For additional information, call 203-869-0376 or visit Brucemuseum.org.

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