Suchitra Mattai in Reorient: Journeys Through Art and Healing: Wing Luke Museum, Seattle, WA
Art and history come together to tell a multidimensional story about humanity. Art is a catalyst for healing cultural pain, both personal and collective. In this exhibition, four artists address stories of immigration where art is a sanctuary, resulting in regeneration and innovation. They speak through their works about histories and heritage, using non-traditional media and configuring materials in new ways. Through their practices, they unearth a life purpose and an empowered self.
When Victor Kai Wang arrived in the United States in 1980 from China, he felt alone and adrift, struggling to comprehend his new surroundings. Suchitra Mattai's ancestors navigated a bewildering and dangerous journey across the Atlantic to the Caribbean. Balancing between two cultures unsettled Tuan Nguyen and Jean Isamu Nagai. In childhood, they felt a need to adapt to survive. Each of these artists turned to creative innovation to change their focus and direction.
We have all felt a sense of disorientation since the COVID pandemic began. We have had to adjust and find our way in a new reality. What does it take to reorient yourself to joy? Creating art, of any kind, is an active meditation. When we create, we focus and are present. This grounds us and points us in the right direction. Psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi conducted research on creative individuals across many disciplines. He found a common thread among the people he interviewed: they loved what they did, and “designing or discovering something new” was one of their most enjoyable experiences. Creative innovation leads to joy, and joy brings healing.
VICTOR KAI WANG
JEAN ISAMU NAGAI
CURATED BY LELE BARNETT