Exhibition Dates: November 21, 2020 - April 18, 2021
Normalization is an assertion of belonging in and to a place, people, a heritage. It affirms the home created by a community of language, culture and customs (Edward Said, 2000). To be a part of this home requires a great deal of adjustment, resilience and adaptation, most especially in a quest to willingly or otherwise find and make a ‘home away from home’. My work and research focus on diaspora negotiation, how people, myself included, in a diaspora are able to negotiate their ways to have a meaningful and impactful life in their host country.
My work is a mixed media installation with my material vocabulary significantly influenced by their symbolism in concept, context and content. With printed sheets of clay, paintings and other forms interacting with spaces and objects, expressions of diaspora experiences - of love, fear, anxiety, trauma, pain, isolation, assimilation, adaptation, belonginess, acceptance, rejection, separation, shock, support, nostalgia, guilt, etc. - within a host country are triggered. Some of my works are meant to defy gravity as a symbolism of some the character traits of the diaspora – defying the odds. -Japheth Asiedu-Kwarteng
These works are concerned with the uncomfortableness of being. Through the lingering pain of trauma and the everyday insecurities of life they seek to find an answer that makes it all seem okay. Making is where an attempt is made to reconcile the desire to be away from this internal struggle, and the subjective actuality where conflict will always be felt. This practice works to embrace elements such as messy textures, dry chalky surfaces, and unintended interactions of glaze and form. These formal responses highlight the futility of an effort for peace. Mixed media creates a dialogue between disparate materials like ceramic, fiber, and found objects. These relationships simulate the elements of a dissociative reality. A place where unease is always experienced. -Richard Oliver Reed
The intersection of Longing focuses on a desire for inclusion and warmth, both inside the self and within a community. Past and present experiences conspire to create a sense of conflict. Through formal responses to this struggle we hope to ease the sense of pain and trauma attached to feeling outside of our environments.