Beatrice Glow and Julian Chams to Show in Wave Hill’s Sunroom Project Space, September 15
Tackling personal histories and suppressed stories, Julian Chams and Beatrice Glow seek to create an immersive viewer experience in Wave Hill’s Sunroom Project Space. Their highly stimulating work reflects a heightened understanding of the sensuous atmosphere created in nature—gained during the artists’ tenure as Wave Hill’s 2015 Van Lier Visual Artist Fellows—as well as their preoccupation with decontextualizing imagery and with re-examining the past.
About the Artists
Working in the space between the personal and the systematic, Julian Chams creates assemblages of imagery that includes both natural and manmade elements.
The artist captures the sensory data of daily life through a sporadic photographic habit; these commonplace images gain novel meaning as they are recombined into seductive sculptural forms. As a Van Lier Visual Artist Fellow, Chams has drawn Wave Hill’s environs into his immersive practice, responding to its architecture and documenting the dynamic landscape with his camera.
His Sunroom Project, titled Maybe Like This, will transform the space into a captivating and refracted environment. The installation will include soft sculptures made of printed cloth covered with sharp-focused photographs taken on Wave Hill’s grounds, upstate New York, Kansas, his native Colombia and the United Kingdom. Hanging next to and in front of the Sunroom’s windows, these printed images veil and reveal each other, while obscuring and interacting with the views of the natural landscape outside. Photographic plant imagery mounted to the wall will complete the immersive environment, juxtaposing the representational world with that of the corporeal.
Born in Barranquilla, Colombia, Chams is currently based in Brooklyn. He earned a BFA in painting from the Kansas City Art Institute and has had solo exhibitions at Splatterpool, Brooklyn, NY; ARS Antiqua Galería, Barranquilla, Colombia; and Parallel Gallery, Kansas City, MO.
Beatrice Glow tells invisible and suppressed stories that lie in the long geopolitical shadows of colonialism and migration. Her practice comprises sculptural installations, trilingual publishing, oral interviews and participatory performances. To counter divisive discussions of political and cultural borders, Glow meditates on how all ethnospheres are, like islands, connected beneath the surface. Her research has focused on the pioneering peoples of Austronesia, a region that encompasses the islands that run from Madagascar to Easter Island.
Glow’s installation, Rhunhattan, converts the Sun Porch into a dining room with sights and scents that reference the Spice Trade, which ushered in an era of globalization. Inspired by Wave Hill’s greenhouses—spaces she sees as designed to tame otherworldly tropical plants—Glow creates an analogous structure, approaching “the Sun Porch as a pristine tearoom that will try to contain the insanity, greed, and desire of commerce.” Intended to reflect the erasure of colonial histories, the space includes olfactory objects strategically placed around the installation, exuding sweet and pungent scents. The history Glow seeks to evoke is a land exchange that took place in 1667, when the Dutch, eager to monopolize the Spice Islands, exchanged Manhattan for Rhun. Seven times smaller, Rhun had been held by the English. Today, Manhattan is a financial capital, while Rhun, located in what is present-day Indonesia, has faded into obscurity. Cartographical prints, drawings and documents relating to Rhun’s colonial history will also be displayed. By creating a sensory feast, Glow invites viewers to engage with the dark realities underpinning the gilded tearoom.
Glow was born and raised in California and spent parts of her childhood in Taiwan; she now lives in Queens. She earned a BFA in studio art from New York University, and is currently a Visiting Scholar in the University’s Asian/Pacific/American Institute. She recently organized the Floating Library, a pop-up public space with free programming aboard the Lilac Museum Steamship. Glow also launched the Asian Americas workgroup for the Hemispheric Institute of Performance and Politics, and, in 2008–9, was awarded a Fulbright scholarship to pursue a research-creation project in Peru on Asian Latin America.
Wave Hill’s Visual Arts Program presents artwork in the galleries and on the grounds that engages the public in dialogue with nature, culture and site. Wave Hill’s curatorial team includes Jennifer McGregor, Director of Arts & Senior Curator; Gabriel de Guzman, Curator of Visual Arts; and Danni Shen, Curatorial Fellow.
The Edward & Sally Van Lier Visual Arts Fellowship is supported by The New York Community Trust. The Sunroom Project Space is supported in part by the Milton & Sally Avery Arts Foundation. Additional support for the Visual Arts Program is provided by Lily Auchincloss Foundation, Inc., New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature, and by the Cathy and Stephen Weinroth Commissioning Fund for the Arts.
Wave Hill, Inc. is an independent, non-profit cultural institution governed by a volunteer Board of Directors. The buildings and grounds of Wave Hill are owned by the City of New York. With the assistance of the Bronx Borough President and Bronx representatives in the City Council and State Legislature, Wave Hill’s operations are supported with public funds through the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs; the Zoos, Botanical Gardens and Aquariums Grant Program administered by the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation; the National Endowment for the Arts; the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation; and New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.
Tackling personal histories and suppressed stories, Julian Chams and Beatrice Glow seek to create an immersive viewer experience in Wave Hill’s Sunroom Project Space. Their highly stimulating work reflects a heightened understanding of the sensuous atmosphere created in nature—gained during the artists’ tenure as Wave Hill’s 2015 Van Lier Visual Artist Fellows—as well as their preoccupation with decontextualizing imagery and with reexamining the past.