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.
(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.)