The state of blessedness has been long mythologized as a garden, an enclosure that protects verdure and growth. Not to be confused with the state of nature, where plants grow as they will, but a design, something chosen and created, precious because it can be lost. Jennifer Wen Ma’s Cry Joy Park draws on operatic references to such gardens and paradise lost––in Paradise Interrupted and Peony Pavilion––and regained. Ma’s traveling and evolving installation deliberately directs attention to nested frameworks of semiotic content that might fit into this notion of the ideal state of being, and to the ebbs and flows, the ongoing adjustments that express developing ideas of civilization.READ THE FULL STORY [+]
Jennifer Wen Ma’s exhibit, Cry Joy Park-Gardens of Dark and Light was the backdrop for a site-specific dance piece on July 2, 2019 the Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art.READ THE FULL STORY [+]
Imagine kicking around the city peninsula over the holiday weekend to find yourself suddenly in a fantastical garden graced by five ethereal sprites beckoning you onward.
After a trim, transcendent 20 minutes, you may well emerge in utter serenity, as I did when I caught “Dancing in the Gardens of ‘Cry Joy Park’” earlier this week.
Beguiling, organic and otherworldly, the work is an altogether inspired convergence of contemporary art and dance that beautifully illustrates how mutually elevating crossing those streams can be. A site-specific collaboration between the Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art and Annex Dance Company, the elegant piece gently wends and ripples around the Halsey’s current exhibition, “Cry Joy Park — Gardens of Dark and Light,” by Chinese-American artist Jennifer Wen Ma.READ THE FULL STORY [+]
The Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art, at the College of Charleston, is a non-profit gallery space on Calhoun Street in downtown Charleston that hosts contemporary art exhibitions by emerging and mid-career artists including the Chinese artist Jennifer Wen Ma working in cut paper for her exhibition (pictured) “Cry Joy Park: Gardens of Dark and Light.” Entrance to the institute is free and there are often exhibitions of student artwork also on view in the bright, airy rooms adjacent to the Halsey which make for a nice respite from the Charleston heat.READ THE FULL STORY [+]
For Pam Longobardi, art is a form of reparation.
“I travel all over the world to high-impact beaches and I collect ocean plastic from those beaches,” she said. “We are haunted by the ghosts of our consumption, especially when we see them coming back from the dead.”
The exhibit features 45 works by six artists: Longobardi, Dianna Cohen, Alejandro Duran, Sayaka Ganz, Aurora Robson and Kirkland Smith. All use post-consumer plastic debris to make two-dimensional and three-dimensional artworks.
Cohen makes tapestries from plastic bags. Duran arranges waste and photographs colorful “landscapes.” Ganz creates impressionistic animals in motion using plastic and metal waste. Robson makes large abstract sculptures and medium-size assemblages from plastics. (Her work was featured by the Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art in the fall of 2017; one piece was acquired by the S.C. Aquarium and is on display on the first floor.)READ THE FULL STORY [+]
Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art | Luncheon in the Garden: Re-entry into society after incarceration
Bring your own lunch to this special (free!) talk held in conjunction with the Halsey’s current exhibition, Cry Joy Park — Gardens of Dark and Light. Artist Jennifer Wen Ma conceived of a series of luncheons, held among her work, that deal with themes explored in Cry Joy Park. Break bread with other members of the community while enjoying a collaborative performance by a musician, dancer, or poet, relating to the luncheon’s theme. This weekend’s theme focuses on the issues pertaining to re-entering society after incarceration. The question, posed by Ma is: How do we bring the formerly incarcerated back into the fold of society, so they can become active and productive members of this paradise again?
What is the impact of merging two art forms? Is the effect synergistic? Does it deepen the meaning of one or the other – or both – for the viewer? Those questions and others will come into sharp focus on Tuesday, July 2, 2019, and Saturday, July 6, 2019, when dance faculty member and choreographer Kristin Alexander presents a performance set in the Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art within its current exhibition “Cry Joy Park — Gardens of Dark and Light.”READ THE FULL STORY [+]
Harleston Village is perfect for the bibliophile, foodie or jock. While the area’s borders technically encase parts of the King Street Fashion District, most Charlestonians know it as a place apart from the rush of tourists and traffic. While pushing a stroller along Colonial Lake or finding a favorite indulgence after a long week, this area is perfect for those looking to cultivate their passions.
The College of Charleston’s nonprofit art institute provides a peek into some edgier regional sensibilities for art lovers and students alike. Free from the responsibilities of a large permanent collection, director Mark Sloan attracts and curates exhibitions that are often hands-on.READ THE FULL STORY [+]
If you’re looking to get a little cultured this month, then we’ve got some ideas. Why not visit a local art gallery to appreciate some Lowcountry artists or get involved in a hands-on art event to expand your own skills? From pop-ups to workshops, here are a few artistic endeavors to check out before the end of June.
The Halsey’s latest free exhibit explores the concept of paradise, particularly Charleston as a paradise. Halsey programming includes several luncheons that bring together people in the community for conversations on issues affecting the Lowcountry. At noon Saturday, June 22, the topic at lunch will be land issues, from habitat loss to homelessness and gentrification. Bring a bagged lunch and break bread with artist Jennifer Wen Ma and other community members.READ THE FULL STORY [+]
Jennifer Wen Ma first came to Charleston in 2015 as director and visual designer of Spoleto Festival’s production of “Paradise Interrupted.”
The artist, who designed a portion of the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics opening ceremonies, has applied her creative talents across mediums. For the Olympics, she created grandiose visual displays that incorporated light and dance. For Spoleto, she created an “installation opera,” a hybrid of performance and visual art.
That opera’s premise has since blossomed (literally) into a visual art exhibit of utopian gardens examining the concept of paradise. Who builds these utopias? Who gets to enjoy them? Who is excluded from them?READ THE FULL STORY [+]