sharing my experience with solo shows and a book publication (part 1)

Returning from a week-long spring brake, I am going to take over ICP-Bard MFA blog this week. My name is Minny Lee, one of the first-year students. Last summer before I began ICP-Bard MFA Program, I was scheduled to have two solo shows for the fall and winter of 2014. I didn’t post about them here because it felt like a self promotion. When I conveyed this feeling, our chair Nayland Blake mentioned that sharing experience can be helpful for others.

To succinctly state how all things happened, they were all chains of events; one thing led to another.

My first solo show was at the Nabi Museum of the Arts (October 3-November 14, 2014). It was a newly created gallery space inside of the World of Wings in Teaneck, New Jersey. Few months earlier in late May, the gallery director Julie Jang organized a silent auction to benefit doctors working in remote areas in Africa. I like to support benefit auctions for good causes and participated. Supposedly one night event was turned into a group show. Ms. Jang liked my photographs very much and invited me to have a solo show in October.

I proposed to have a “Nightwalker” installation, which was previously shown at two group shows in New York. Images from “Nightwalker” are drawn from the “Encounters” series; I consider them as portraits of trees. I printed them onto 44×60-inch rice paper and hung them to the ceiling while playing sound recording from nature. Ms. Jang’s gallery was great to exhibit “Nightwalker” as it had a high ceiling to hang my prints and ample space to walk amongst prints. For this location, I added a video that I made in Norway since it had a connection to night and nature.

It was not easy to get actively involved with my exhibition while starting a MFA program but I managed to have an opening reception, artist talk, and closing reception. An hour-long artist talk was especially helpful for me to organize and talk about my work from the past six years, since graduating from ICP’s One-year Certificate Program.

Each weekend, I went to the gallery and met with visitors. Some people even visited three times, bringing their friends and families. Another time, I was driving near the gallery and got a call from Ms. Jang. She said two Japanese visitors (father and daughter) were at the gallery and hoped to see me. I went to the gallery and they were happy to meet me and expressed their appreciation towards my photographs.

You can watch “Nightwalker” installation video at Nabi Museum of Arts HERE.

In conjunction with the exhibition, I got interviewed by Mom & I magazine in New Jersey. It is a monthly periodical that focuses on art and culture in New York metro area. Six-page spread with my tree photographs and interview article in Korean language became useful resource for visitors when I had a solo show in South Korea few months later.

Ms. Jang also included me in a group show at the Belskie Museum of Art and Science in Closter, New Jersey where I exhibited photographs from Norway, which I made during an artist-in-residence program at Halsnøy Kloster.

I treat each exhibition with care and respect and learned that it is our sincere attitude towards our work and to each other makes meaningful and long lasting relationships in the art community.

"Nightwalker" exhibition at Nabi Museum of the Arts

“Nightwalker” exhibition at Nabi Museum of the Arts

Preparing for an Artist Talk

Preparing for an Artist Talk


(In the above picture, I was passing around my Pentax 67II camera that I used to photograph most of “Encounters” series. During my artist talk, I displayed hand-made artist books on the table. People were engaged with books while waiting for the talk to begin.)



Richards-Rosebud-7  6_jamesrichards_rosebud_9cd3a3_mljames-richards Richards-Turner


James Richards’ video, Rosebud, greets the viewer at the entrance to the MoMA show, Cut to Swipe, currently on view in New York. The exhibition includes recent acquisitions by the Department of Media and Performance Art that appropriate and manipulate images and sound drawn from a wide range of media. Created in 2013, Richards’ black-and-white video is installed on a large flat-screen monitor that is angled in the room towards the door. Rather than being mounted to a wall, the display is on a stand and assumes its own presence in the space.

Richards interweaves his own sumptuous imagery, some of which was taken with an underwater camera, with footage from a Tokyo library where censors scratched out the genitalia of nude photographs in books of Robert Mapplethorpe, Man Ray and Wolfgang Tillmans. At just under thirteen minutes, Richards’ video takes the viewer on a seductive ride that includes scenes of elderflower teasingly dragged along a puckering anus, the hands and arms of a woman rolling along a floor and appropriated flickering images of parakeets that give the sense of taking flight. This work succinctly embodies the curatorial conceit of this show as it mingles the 20th-century strategies of collage and montage with dazzling digital production.

Richards, a British artist living and working in Berlin, was nominated for the Turner prize in 2014 for Rosebud. In a short video interview made in tandem with his nomination, he discusses the piece and his working methods. He had been shooting with an underwater camera and was interested in the way it refracted and distorted images. Later, after accidentally coming upon the censored images, he wanted to find a way to combine them with his original footage. Although the imagery is largely of the material world, he compares his use of it to abstract sculpture or painting. He then explains that how the images become the thing around which he starts composing the audio and he regards the imagery as having the same malleability as sound.

The video feels like a meditation on desire and the pleasure of looking. It includes many excruciatingly tight shots that linger over details that we usually push past. Throughout, he creates wonderful linkages like the wrinkles of foreskin with the lines in a woodcut illustration. The viewer is aware of Richards’ sensitivity in handling the overabundance of imagery because never once does s/he feel overwhelmed; instead, Richards invites the viewer into a rhythmic experience that continues to unfold and suggests unlimited possibility. The overall effect is akin to a masterful mix tape made by a friend that includes the gems from his personal collection.

Spring Break, Blog Break

After burning ourselves out, Spring Break is finally here! We’re using the break to catch our breaths, reconnect with family, give our work a nice kick in the butt… Today I’m leaving to Guadeloupe for an artist exchange between Diaspora Vibe Cultural Arts Incubator (DVCAI) and L’Artocarpe in Le Moule. You can learn more below:

ICE Guadeloupe 2015

March 21-March 29, 2015 — DVCAI, in collaboration with L’Artocarpe in Le Moule, Guadeloupe, will co-host and support open informational conversations with artist members of L’Artocarpe in Guadeloupe and Diaspora Vibe artists from Miami, Florida.

This international cultural exchange, conceived by DVCAI founder and director, Rosie Gordon-Wallace, brings together artists, curators, writers and cultural workers to engage in a rigorous program of exchange, exhibition, studio visits and workshop intensives in the Caribbean. The program will be co-curated by Rosie Gordon-Wallace and Dr. Alix Pierre, professor at Spelman University in Atlanta, Georgia.

A highlight of this year’s exchange is the exhibition at L’Artocarpe entitled Alternate Currents: New Art from the Diaspora, co-curated by Rosie Gordon-wallace and Dr. Alix Pierre. Artists from Guadeloupe and the U.S. were invited to explore and engage multi-media sculpture, video, photography, painting, installation and performance that explore the concept of tropical paradise.

The participating artists from Guadeloupe are Kelly Sinnapah Mary, Francois Piquet, Henri Tauliaut et Annabel G, Florence Poirier- Nkpa, Joëlle Ferly; from Miami, Rosa Naday Garmendia, Francesca LaLanne, Juana Valdes, Crystal Pearl, Nadia Rea Morales, Aisha Tandiwe Bell, Groana Melendez and Jaquenette Arnette; supported by Vincent Scatliffe, Continuous Line and photographer Roy Wallace. These artists, writers, curators and culture-makers represent an incredible range of cultural backgrounds, nationalities, homelands and artistic practices.

Rosie Gordon–Wallace describes the exchange as an opportunity “to have a conversation with ourselves about ourselves.” The ICE program interprets the ‘ourselves’ in the most expansive way, engaging the concept of “diaspora” as a way to understand and dialogue about the deeply creative and innovative ways that we approach art making, culture and community.


L’Artocarpe says, “it is easy to work with plenty; the hard thing is to work with little.” L’Artocarpe is an artist-driven space directed by artist Joëlle Ferly that is the pulse point of the community “artist initiated and artist driven”. They “state production first then exhibition, not the reverse.”

Diaspora Vibe Cultural Arts Incubator is a virtual creative place-making Incubator whose mission is to promote, nurture, and cultivate the diverse talents of emerging artists from the Caribbean and Latin American Diaspora (

A conversation will be held on Monday, March 23, at L’Artocarpe, where artists meet, network and workshop. We are excited to conduct studio visits and gallery visits with daily preparation to mount a joint exhibition opening Friday March 27, 2015 at 6:00pm.

Saturday, March 28th, it is our desire that artists will meet to review the exhibition, have conversations and present portfolios artist to artists, using this opportunity to shape future collaborations in Miami and artchat sessions. All artists are invited to attend. There is no charge. Donations are encouraged to L’Artocarpe (

A diaspora is about the dispersion of a people. Diaspora Vibe Cultural Arts Incubator looks at the places where our paths cross and intersect, how we sound and who is standing at these points of connection. We live in a world where new diaspora are ever emerging, where we are continuously called upon to re-invent art, family, geography, culture and where the hybrid voice is what we come to call center and home.

Our artists’ community conversations and artist talks are designated to fulfill our mission of empowering artists, as well as offering key insights, sharing resources and observations into the day-to-day issues that artists are facing, says founder Rosie Gordon-Wallace.

Diaspora Vibe Cultural Arts Incubator, Inc. has a multi- cultural board of ten volunteer members, Brand strategist, Vincent Scatliffe founder of Continuous Good (, and DVCAI team support from Marryam Zafar ( The focus of the incubator is to recognize and support artists using the National Performance Network| Visual Artists Network ( contracts to achieve fair contracts and equity. We Thank Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs and the Cultural Affairs Council, The Miami-Dade County Mayor and Board of County Commissioners.

Sama Alshaibi: Sand Rushes In

Sama Alshaibi talks about her newest book, Sand Rushes In. Alshaibi’s lyrical multimedia work explores the landscape of conflict: the ongoing competition for land, resources, and power in North Africa and West Asia, and the internal battle for control between fear and fearlessness. Alshaibi uses the desert, borders, and the body as overarching symbols of the geopolitical and environmental issues and histories linking the Arab-speaking world.

Extra Tasty by Tracie Williams


Opening Reception
March 19 | Thursday | 6–10 pm ET

On View
March 20–22 | Friday–Sunday | 2–5 pm ET

ICP-Bard MFA Studios
24–20 Jackson Avenue, 3rd Floor, Long Island City, Queens

The first thing you see when you enter Extra Tasty, ICP-Bard MFA 2015 candidate Tracie Williams’s thesis show, is a large print of a girl jumping, caught mid air, upside down, and with her open legs as making an arrow towards what is written in her shirt: “Future”.

“I consider the space a lot and I think about how people would move through it. How I want them to move back and forth and how I want them to experience. I want them to have fun, to not be bored, to not even expect the next thing.” says Tracie about her work, a show consisting solely of nine pieces of different sizes, colors and shapes: light boxes, large black and white prints, a mural made by the mosaic of prints, double exposure c-prints and a video projected to a plexi-glass hung very high. “I think you should think about an image in the best way you can show it but also use everything that is available to you.”


And not only the formats are varied, but also the subjects of the images. From Tracie’s playful brothers to satellites in the dessert of New Mexico. The show’s different themes makes you want to draw similarities: a lot of them are about light, about obstructing the subjects, about authority, about violence, about Tracie’s immediate surroundings… but finding a common threat is not what this show is asking. “I don’t know if I could define in a word what ties the images together, and I don’t think I want to: It’s not fair. That’s what you get away with in documentary, there projects have to be a bout a thing, ‘this is this essay about this person in this situation’. But in art school I’ve learnt you don’t have to do it that way. There is a reason behind everything I’ve done. But I’m not telling you that, because I want you to experience it apart from that. I would prefer for you to take something, whatever it is you want, than for you to just read the reasons I want and go away with nothing”


“You have to look within yourself but you also have to look outside your own bubble.” Before entering the program, Tracie did two big projects documenting issues with the U.S. intervention in Laos and Occupy Wall Street. This documentary background feeds this work in many ways. “There is the art world and there is the journalist world. When you are documenting something you are not really stating what you think, while in art you are. And I think I have a natural cross-over of the these worlds in my thought process, even if I have not fully met my potential.” Tracie is more aware than most about her surroundings and is very interested in the sociopolitical context she is submerged in.


Being so few pieces, every one is very important. The size and the amount of details, as well as the empty space must of them have around them, make you experience every one for a long time. Tracie does a lot of research for each project she makes, but in stead of making it all easy for the viewer, she makes it so you have to also investigate is image. “Everything has layers to it, and making it too obvious would make it boring”.


Las Brujas De Plata Blog

Check out one of my favorite blogs: It always provides some much needed inspiration, and It’s curated by Elle Pérez, Vivian Fu, and Elizabeth Tsung.

Here’s a little taste:


In Photos: “Family Album” by Mamaki Rakotsoana.

This series of images by South African photographer Mamaki Rakotsoana is a project in which she took her deceased father’s photographs and reproduced them in a manner that investigates her relationship to him, as well as his relationship to the women in his life.

Bronx Documentary Center Portfolio Review

No matter how much I’ve dreaded or been nervous about a portfolio review, I’ve never regretted one. The feedback and amount of resources you receive are indispensable. A good tip, look at the bios of the reviewers and choose those that match your needs.

You can learn more about the Bronx Documentary Center here.

May 2, 2015 Portfolio Review

May 2, 2015 Portfolio Review

Saturday, May 2, 10AM-4PM

Get your work seen during five one-on-one sessions with the industry’s top photo editors. Register today.

Sign up to network and get critiqued by the top photo editors from The New York TimesTIME MagazineThe Wall Street Journal, Getty Images, Sports Illustrated and more. You will have the chance to meet one-on-one for twenty minutes with five of the following reviewers:
KAINAZ AMARIA NPR’s Visual Team, Supervising Editor
CLINTON CARGILL Bloomberg Businessweek, Director of Photography
RADHIKA CHALASANI, Freelance Photo Editor, Open Show NY, Producer
SANDY CIRIC Getty Images, Director of Photography
ELISSA CURTIS MSNBC, Senior Picture Editor
IVAR DAMERON The Wall Street Journal, Photo Editor
JESSIE DEWITT The New York Times, Science Photo Editor
DAN GABA The Wall Street Journal, Photo Editor
ANGELIKA HALA Stern, Photo Editor
HOLLY HUGHES PDN, Editorial Editor
ED KASHI VII Photo Agency, Photojournalist
PAULA KUPFER Aperture Magazine, Managing Editor
BECKY LEBOWITZ The New York Times, Sports Photo Editor
SABINE MEYER Fovea, Co-Director
PAUL MOAKLEY TIME Magazine, Deputy Director of Photography
MERRILL OLIVER The New York Times, Senior Picture Editor
SARAH ROZEN Women’s Health, Photo Director
JENNIFER SAMUELS Anastasia Photo, Associate Director
BRAD SMITH Sports Illustrated, Director of Photography
SALLY STAPLETON The Day, Managing Editor for Online and Photography
JAMIE WELLFORD Independent Photo Editor/Curator

You can learn more about the reviewers and their work preferences here and you can see photos and testimonials from our past portfolio reviews here.

Space is limited and advance registration is required.

To ensure that you will see some of your favorite editors, please register and submit your selections no later than Monday, April 27th. 

Please email if you have any questions.