September 14 – October 26, 2002
Curated by Mihee Ahn, Hyunjin Shin
Artists: Kelley Bush, Myung Chung, Makoto Fujimura, Soon Myung Hong, Hey-Yeon Jang, Jeannette Louie, Jenna Lucente, Meryl Meisler
The exhibition entitled, “WATERwalks” explores the Five-Element theory from far-east Asia. Focusing on the water-element from the five, this exhibition aims to promote better understanding of the Asian culture among American general public. This will be achieved by examining the characteristics of the water-element found even in the contemporary visual art works and in the process of creating artwork by the artists from both Eastern and Western ethnic backgrounds. Interpretation of artwork in the context of the water-element will be exhibited. As such, this exhibition’s approach is unprecedentedly eclectic because the exhibition offers a way of critical reading in the context of Five-Element theory. This approach invites audience to examine how the works are related to the theory instead of viewing art works that have direct visual reference to the philosophy. By including both Asian and non-Asian artists this exhibition, the exhibition presents this Asian philosophy’s inclusiveness of all diverse people.
Together with the philosophy of Yin and Yang, the Five-Element theory has been one of the major principles for Asian sciences and philosophies. Taoism, Eastern medicines, Feng Sui, martial arts and I-Ching are examples that followed the legacy of this Five-Element Cosmology. This five element theory is also the theory has been merged with Buddhism and Confucianism in their history for thousands years and created the contemporary Asian cultures that we share now. Even today, some contemporary physicists and psychoanalysts adapted this theory to their respective fields because the theory offered new perspective.