Get Entranced by ‘Agency and Power’
The Indonesian fish-shaped island of Bali connotes fantasies of exotic beauty firmly affixed since the 1930s, when expatriates and Western tourists first arrived. “Agency and Power in Southeast Asia,” USC Pacific Asia Museum’s new exhibit, explores the interplay between the fetishistic Western gaze and the power of people telling their own stories.
At its center is a collection of more than 50 paintings collected by cultural anthropologists Margaret Mead and Gregory Bateson that blend folklore with everyday life, and the fantastic with the mundane. Mead’s presence buttresses the exhibit, especially through narration in the film Trance and Dance in Bali, about a practice that blends spirituality and theater. “If anyone is hurt, the trance is not real,” Mead says. Through June 12
Sculpt and Calligraph
In West Hollywood, Advocartsy aims to be a conduit for Iranian artists. Its 1,700 square feet, founded by lawyer turned art advocate Roshi Rahnama, allows artists like Siavash Jaraedi to curate an experience through sculptures, all imbued with the artist’s architectural eye and sense of humor. Jaraedi’s medium of choice is bronze, “a traditional, charming material that accentuates my pattern, gilding the truth,” he says. In May, the sculptures beg you to get up close, then closer.
In June, Mohammad Bozorgi, a self-described “calligrapher from the heart of history” will turn Advocartsy into a metaphysical space with work like You Will Be There, a nod to aesthetic principles of Islamic art and calligraphy. Bozorgi describes his work as “enriched forms imbued with the transcendental energy of human emotion.” Geometric patterns are a nod to his engineering background and give the illusion of movement.
Lower Your Shield
For her first solo exhibition in Los Angeles, artist Mimi Jung, known for wall pieces that incorporate textiles and weaving, will showcase pieces from her “SHIELD” series, a study in undulating movement. In her Montana studio, Jung uses giant looms to weave translucent veils that present the question: Who and what warrants defense?
The show takes place at Helen J Gallery. Helen Park opened her eponymous gallery during the 2020 pandemic shutdown with a dream to hold space for Asian artists, particularly Korean and Korean American artists. “This collaboration is a long time in the making,” says Park, who describes Jung’s works as “soft and warm, so intricate and beautiful, but so complicated and deep all at the same time.” Through May 27