The National Gallery of Art acquires work by Tseng Kwong Chi

The First Art Newspaper on the Net    Established in 1996 Tuesday, February 27, 2024


The National Gallery of Art acquires work by Tseng Kwong Chi
Tseng Kwong Chi, Washington, DC (E25v1.36), 1981. Gelatin silver print, image: 92.08 x 92.08 cm (36 1/4 x 36 1/4 in.) framed: 96.52 x 96.52 x 4.45 cm (38 x 38 x 1 3/4 in.) National Gallery of Art, Washington. Pepita Milmore Memorial Fund and Gift of Funds from Gregory and Aline Gooding, 2023.12.1 © Muna Tseng Dance Projects Inc.. Courtesy Yancey Richardson, New York.



WASHINGTON, DC.- The performance artist and photographer Tseng Kwong Chi (1950–1990) described himself as an “inquisitive traveler, a witness of my time, and an ambiguous ambassador.” The National Gallery of Art has acquired four photographs from his series East Meets West (1979–1987), a group of innovative pictures that depicts the artist in front of different tourist locations around the country—the Brooklyn Bridge, the U.S. Capitol in Washington, DC, Niagara Falls, the Grand Canyon, Disneyland—wearing mirrored sunglasses, an identity badge (which says “visitor” or “slutforart”), and what is now called a “Mao suit.”

The inspiration for East Meets West was in part President Richard Nixon’s 1972 trip to China, a highly orchestrated and carefully staged event designed to signal the inauguration of harmonious relations with China. Adopting the guise of a Chinese official or a tourist, Tseng subtly toyed with the conventions of tourist photography. Although he admitted that it could be awkward playing a Chinese tourist and subjecting himself to racial profiling and stereotyping by Westerners, he embraced postmodernism’s use of irony and parody to intentionally cast himself as a marginalized “other.” In these photographs, Tseng positions himself—as the title East Meets West suggests—as an “ambiguous ambassador” from another culture who not only witnessed the events of his time, but also searched for his own experiences in the West. While these pictures can be seen as “selfies,” they elicit questions of artifice and reality, masquerade and identity, belonging and estrangement, as well as the displacement and disjunction of the Asian diaspora.

New York, New York (1979) and Niagara Falls, New York (1984) are among his best-known works from this series. In New York, New York, he leaps into the air in front of the Brooklyn Bridge, as if expressing the joy of a tourist to visit a place that had long been on their bucket list. In Niagara Falls, New York, he poses himself with his back to the falls, projecting the air of a carefully composed visiting emissary, more eager to have his presence at the site recorded than in viewing the wonders of the American landscape. In Cape Canaveral, Florida (1985), Tseng positions a large sign with the words “United States” directly between him and an astronaut that prominently brands the lunar module as from the “United States,” as well as hinting at the power he wielded by playing on the assumptions and stereotypes of Westerners. Washington, DC (E25v1.36) (1981), made when Congressional members of the Moral Majority were espousing antigay rhetoric, is one of his most resonant and personal pictures in this series, as Tseng and many of his friends were openly gay. Made relatively early in his work on the series, Tseng positioned the camera slightly lower than he did in many other photographs in the series. By angling the camera lens up, he perfectly aligned his head with the dome of the U.S. Capitol—a symbol of freedom for many around the world—and his eye with Thomas Crawford’s statue, also titled Freedom, on the top of the dome.

Born in Hong Kong to a family with deep roots in mainland China, he emigrated to Vancouver at 16 and later studied art at the former Académie Julian in Paris before immersing himself in New York’s downtown art scene in the late 1970s. There he befriended Keith Haring, Jean-Michel Basquiat, and others who would become key participants in the vibrant, experimental, and transgressive East Village Art Scene of the 1980s. Like many of his friends and colleagues, Tseng died of AIDS-related illness. He was 40 years old.










Today's News

May 23, 2023

Can you spot the dog hidden in this Picasso painting?

Alexandre da Cunha: Broken, solo exhibition now on view at Thomas Dane Gallery

Kurt Cobain's Nevermind era smashed & signed by Nirvana Fender Stratocaster sold for $595,900

The National Gallery of Art acquires work by Tseng Kwong Chi

Handel Hendrix House sheds light on lives of George Frideric Handel and Jimi Hendrix

Aboriginal artist Richard Bell's Embassy comes to Tate Modern's Turbine Hall

Yale Art Gallery acquires collection of 19th-century drawings

Bonhams achieves $10 million at its modern & contemporary sales this week in New York

Yaron Michael Hakim: Aves Ambigua on view at Sargent's Daughters

Olivia Miller appointed UAMA director

WAM sells British Sculpture to establish American Art Acquisition Fund

Andrew Jones to hold two decorative arts auctions in June

Blacksmithing is alive and well in Kentucky

David Zink Yi's first solo presentation in Korea on view at KÖNIG SEOUL

Finnish National Gallery to develop a new ticket sales service

Vintage Japanese photography - from Araki to Yamamoto - in confrontation with Dutch photographer Jeremy Stigter

Cool tribal tattoo. Is it from the '90s?

Helmut Berger, actor known for his work with Visconti, dies at 78

Donna Summer's bedazzled closet and ephemera will go up for auction

Njideka Akunyili Crosby wants to take it slow, despite her rapid rise

$100,000 art prize finalists announced for Hadley's 2023 recipients

Royal Air Force Museum London presents 'Strike Hard, Strike Sure: Bomber Command 1939 to 1945'

Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts presents two new exhibitions

Early painting by Bhupen Khakhar makes auction debut at Bonhams

Exploring the Trendiest Father's Day Cakes to Honor Dad

How To Gather Strong Evidence For Your Personal Injury Claim

What are the Common Injuries Reported in Washington Truck Accidents?

3 Factors Influencing The Amount DUI Lawyers Charge Their Clients

Seeking Legal Representation for a Domestic Violence Case: Is It Necessary?




Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .

 



Founder:
Ignacio Villarreal
(1941 - 2019)
Editor & Publisher: Jose Villarreal
Art Director: Juan José Sepúlveda Ramírez

sa gaming free credit
Attorneys
Truck Accident Attorneys
Accident Attorneys

Royalville Communications, Inc
produces:

ignaciovillarreal.org juncodelavega.com facundocabral-elfinal.org
Founder's Site. Hommage
to a Mexican poet.
Hommage
       

The First Art Newspaper on the Net. The Best Versions Of Ave Maria Song Junco de la Vega Site Ignacio Villarreal Site Parroquia Natividad del Señor
Tell a Friend
Dear User, please complete the form below in order to recommend the Artdaily newsletter to someone you know.
Please complete all fields marked *.
Sending Mail
Sending Successful