MIXED is an exhibition exploring families of “mixed” races, ethnicities, and cultures, adapted from a project titled Mixed Blood by the artist CYJO

MIXED: Valter Family ©CYJO 2010

New York University Kimmel Windows Gallery presents MIXED from November 12, 2019 to March 24, 2020. MIXED is an exhibition exploring families of “mixed” races, ethnicities, and cultures and is adapted from a project titled Mixed Blood by the artist CYJO.

The exhibition portrays families in cities CYJO has lived in—New York City, Beijing, the Washington D.C. metro area, and most recently Miami—and captures the families’ experiences through interviews and large-format photographic portraits taken in their homes. Through words and images, MIXED probes identity in cross-cultural contexts.

This series has been exhibited internationally, but the presentation of the photographs in NYU’s Kimmel Windows is the first time the families’ experiences have been addressed in a U.S. context.

Before the Supreme Court’s Loving v. Virginia decision in 1967, U.S. laws banned interracial marriage. The U.S. used the concept of “mixed blood” to define constructions of race and power. This played out in the “one drop” rule denying rights to anyone with any African heritage.

“Categorizing or separating groups of people based on background for divisive purposes does not lead to growth but to a deterioration of our connection as human beings. It’s important to remind ourselves of our histories, including those on migration and identity, to work towards a better future,” CYJO said.

The families seen in MIXED remind us of a persistent truth—that human migration is a story reiterated and shared across many histories. But what does it mean to live in a family of mixed heritages, cultures, citizenships, and contexts? These families offer us diverse views into supportive, conflicted, and complex personal relationships, through both the intimacy of family contexts and the scope of larger societal frames. These individuals and their families impart specific vantage points on different backgrounds and cultures as lived experiences, offering their personal stories as they lay claim to the racial identities and cultural backgrounds that connect us.

About CYJO
Born 1974 in Seoul, Korea and based in Miami, CYJO (pronounced see-joe) is a Korean American artist that works mainly in the photographic medium. She is most known for KYOPO (2004-2009), a photographic and textual project about American immigration and identity through the lens of the Korean ancestry. Her first major work in China, Substructure (2010), is a photographic, video and textual portrait series documenting internal migration with Chinese migrants in Beijing. As an artist who has lived in various urban contexts (DC Metro Area, NYC, Beijing, and now Miami), CYJO analyzes different cultural nuances and sometimes contradicting perspectives with her body of work, recognizing plurality in societies as well as confining cultural frameworks among shifting sociopolitical landscapes. In her works that focus on figurative and textual portraiture, CYJO continually questions this notion of categorization further examining our human constructs, encouraging those profiled to define themselves. She explores how culture, life experience, tradition and modernity shape both the individual and collective identity and how society influences the alteration of tradition and culture.  

CYJO’s work has been exhibited nationally and internationally, including: The Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery, Washington, D.C., Asia Society Texas Center, Houston, JANM Museum, Los Angeles, Venice Architecture Biennale, Venice, Three Shadows Photography Art Centre, Beijing, Minsheng Art Museum, Shanghai, Museum of Contemporary Art, Chengdu, Today Art Museum, Beijing, T. Art Center, Beijing, Liang Dian Design Center, Beijing, China Millennium Monument Museum of Digital Arts, Beijing, CFCCA, Manchester, Dalian Museum, The Art Atrium, London and The Korea Society, NYC. Read more at www.cyjo.net.

About the Curators: Alexandra Chang + The Creative Destruction
Alexandra Chang is Associate Professor of Practice with the Art History program at the Department of Arts, Culture and Media and the Clement A. Price Institute on Ethnicity, Culture, and the Modern Experience, and is affiliated with the Rutgers Climate Institute at Rutgers University-Newark. Chang works on the topics of EcoArt and Global Asias Art at RU-N, where she gathers the monthly EcoArt Salons at the Paul Robeson Galleries at Express Newark and is a part of the campus-wide Eco Working Group. She organizes the Climate Working Group, a creative gathering of more than 50 members that bridges Science, Humanities and Arts researchers, scholars, artists, practitioners, and institutions for short and long term collaborations considering climate, data, policy, power, and the history of globalization. She also serves as Vice Chair on the Communications Committee of the Environmental and Climate Network of the Alliance of American Museums.

Chang is Co-Founding Editor of Asian Diasporic Visual Cultures and the Americas (ADVA) with publisher Brill (Leiden) and institutional partners, the Asian/Pacific/American Institute at New York University and the Gail and Stephen A. Jarislowsky Institute for Studies in Canadian Art at Concordia University. She is Co-Founder of the College Art Association’s affiliated society the Diasporic Asian Art Network (DAAN). She received the New Leadership Award from ArtTable in 2019.

The Creative Destruction is a contemporary art collaborative founded in 2016 by Timothy Archambault and CYJO to support and promote art that is realized through an existential and experiential process of development. Its theoretical framework views tension and anxiety as one of many influential components of growth. The Creative Destruction incessantly reinterprets manmade constructs (cultural, economic, political, social, etc.), destroying the old and creating the new.

About NYU Kimmel Windows | Art in Public Places
Kimmel Windows (founded in 2003) is located on LaGuardia Place and West 3rd Street just one block south of iconic Washington Square Park. The Windows exist as a unique cultural destination at the heart of New York University in historic Greenwich Village, providing space for exemplary public exhibits. These 13 ground floor vitrines offer 3 dynamic exhibitions a year. The Windows operate under the umbrella the Provost’s office, at the heart of NYU’s Art in Public Places initiative which facilitates the display of art in outdoor spaces around campus. We offer professionally curated, thoughtful, and engaging exhibitions organized by NYU graduate students, faculty, departments, and programs, resulting in a program that represents the wide range of scholarly discourse at New York University.

For additional information or materials, contact:
Pamela Jean Tinnen, 347 634 2938 or pamela.jean.tinnen@nyu.edu

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