Care Package, Twelve Gates Arts, Philadelphia, October 5-26, 2012

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CARE Package c/o Philadelphia, PA
Curated by Ombretta Agró Andruff in collaboration with the artists
Opening Reception, October 5th, 6-8pm

Twelve Gates Arts is thrilled to host the inaugural showing of CARE Package c/o Philadelphia, PA, to open on October 5th, 2012. The show will run through October 26th, 2012.

The exhibition is conceived as a small-scale international traveling show of five female artists from Asia or of Asian descent touching venues in North America as well as Asia. Taking inspiration from the concept of a care package sent to each host country, the artists will ship or bring their gifts in the form of multi-media works that will be shared with local audiences.

A rich tradition exists throughout Asian countries of gift packages exchanged as social contract and, while unwritten, they embody strong cultural, social, political and economic codings. In North America, care packages are associated with goodies sent from loved ones to their children and youth who are away from home (usually off to camp, college, or the military). Historically the CARE package was the unit of aid at the core of the food relief effort developed in 1945 by the US-based humanitarian CARE organization and was sent to a large number of Europeans at risk of starvation in the wake of World War II. It soon became an icon of American generosity and global leadership.

In an era where the concept of “American generosity and global leadership” is a far cry from its meaning during the post-war years, the participating artists will tell stories that grow out of their own personal history and cultural heritage to tackle issues of nationhood, race, gender, religion, and economic exploitation on a world scale, in the context of emergent global capitalism.

Storytelling and a deep interest in history and untold stories is a shared strategy amongst this collective of interdisciplinary artists. The five participating artists are: Shelly Bahl (born in Benares, living between New York and Toronto); Shelly Jyoti (Born in Rohtak, living in New Delhi); Laura Kina (born in Riverside, CA, to a Japanese father and Basque/Anglo mother, and living in Chicago); Saira Wasim (born in Lahore, living in Chicago); and Cambodian-American Anida Yoeu Ali (currently living in Phnom Penh, Cambodia).

In a grass roots diplomatic effort, they are collaborating with an Italian, New York based curator to conduct a trans-cultural dialogue between their works, their countries of origin, and the intersections and migrations between.

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