aboveground, solo exhibition at Swarm Gallery

March 5 – April 10, 2011
Gallery | aboveground |    Mayumi Hamanaka

Opening Saturday, March 5, 2011 6-8pm
Featuring a sound performance by Seth Cluett

Are their faces really different from our own? There are those who refused to believe this. And there are those of us who sincerely look upon the ruins today … Those who pretend to take hope again as the image fades… Those of us who pretend to believe that all this happened only once, at a certain time and in a certain place, and those who refuse to see, who do not hear the cry to the end of time.

– From Night and Fog, a 1955 French documentary short film about the Holocaust

Swarm Gallery is pleased to present, aboveground, an exhibition of new work by Mayumi Hamanaka on view from March 5 – April 10, 2011. The artist’s first solo show with Swarm Gallery features large-scale photo-based cut-out images and photography.

Growing up in the climate of rapid economical growth and globalization, Mayumi Hamanaka’s art practice has followed concepts of individualism, mass-circulated trends, personal histories/memories buried within historical events, and power struggles of individuals within group dynamics.

aboveground explores the connection between historical events overseas and the present day where we stand. As written in Night and Fog, there are reverberating effects of past incidents over time and place, affecting more people than realized. Using recognizable source images collected from 20th Century wars such as WWI, WWII and the Vietnam War, Mayumi hand cuts and slightly abstracts them. By this action, she examines her own distorted perspective and experience in the context of how history is written, and invites the viewer to do the same. Re-imagining the past, we come up with a more accurate picture of the present.

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