After returning from a week-long spring break, I will be taking over the 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 self promotion but when I conveyed this feeling to our chair Nayland Blake he suggested that sharing my experience might be helpful for others.
Everything that happened was a long chain of events. One thing always led to another..
My first solo show was at the Nabi Museum of the Arts (October 3-November 14, 2014). It is a newly created gallery space inside of the World of Wings in Teaneck, New Jersey. A few months earlier in May, the gallery director Julie Jang organized a silent auction to benefit doctors working in remote areas in Africa. Supposedly the single night event was turned into a group show for a month. At the end, Ms. Jang invited me to have a solo show in October.
I proposed to have an installation of my work entitled, “Nightwalker”, which was previously shown at two group shows in New York. Images from “Nightwalker” are drawn from the “Encounters” series, a group of images which I consider as portraits of trees. I printed them onto 44×60-inch rice paper and hung them from the ceiling while playing a sound recording from nature. Ms. Jang’s gallery was great to exhibit “Nightwalker” because it had a high ceiling and ample space. For this location, I added a video of the sea at night that I made in Norway.
It was difficult to balance my MFA studies and a solo exhibition but I managed to have an opening reception, artist talk, and closing reception. Giving 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. I went to the gallery each weekend and met with visitors. Some people visited multiple times and brought friends and families.
You can watch “Nightwalker” installation video at Nabi Museum of Arts HERE.
In conjunction with the exhibition, I got interviewed by Mom & I magazine, a monthly periodical that focuses on art and culture in New York metro area. Six-page spread with my tree photographs and interview article became useful resource for visitors to my exhibition in Korea few months later. In early December, 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.
(Above, I passed 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.)