Shotgun Review

Everyday Miracles (Extended)  Phase 2

By December 18, 2009

“Everyday Miracles (Extended),” curated by Hou Hanru in collaboration with Clara Kim at REDCAT in Los Angeles, is the current exhibition at the SFAI Walter and McBean Galleries. This show is the most recent incarnation of an original concept from Hon Hanru for the Chinese Pavilion at the 2007 Venice Biennale.  Presented in three cycles (the first two at the San Francisco Art Institute and the third at REDCAT), “Everyday Miracles (Extended)” seeks to expand upon dialogues about feminism in Asia and the emergence of the extraordinary in art and the everyday. Attempting to negotiate and transcend social and political realities in China, India, Korea, Pakistan, the Philippines, and Taiwan, the three phases will feature work from Hamra Abbas, Ringo Bunoan, Chen Hui-Chiao, Shilpa Gupta, Kan Xuan, Minouk Lim, and Jewyo Rhii. 

I was able to witness “Phase 2” at the Walter and McBean Gallery in SFAI, as well as listen to the conversation on the panel discussion with Hamra Abbas, Ringo Bunoan, and Chen Hui-chiao in the Lecture Hall at SFAI’s Chesnut Street campus. 

A head-spinning amount of information to absorb, it’s clear why this continued exhibition is broken into three cycles. While a dialog is taking place, concepts of gender binaries are changing, forming, and re-creating. Ideas are continuously coming forth, encompassing geography, and cannot really be

Chen Hui-chiao. Here and Now: Winter, 2009; double bed, table-tennis balls, and beads. Courtesy of the artist.

contained in a single frame; there needs to be extensions, multiple phases and continuous dialog. In this essence, the curatorial format is an excellent success.

Can it all be simplified? Yes, by traversing the dichotomies represented by our time and history. The only way to understand alternative visions that counter the terms of modernization and globalization is to provide room, to participate, expand the dialogue, and, most of all, listen. 

Everyday Miracles is at the SFAI Walter and McBean Galleries from October 1 - January 30, 2010 and at REDCAT in Los Angeles from November 22 - January 17, 2010.


Lian Ladia is a writer and the Curatorial Associate at Joyce Gordon Gallery in Oakland.

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