Program 2019–20: Chen Dongfan, Fevzi Yazıcı, and others

Program 2019–20: Chen Dongfan, Fevzi Yazıcı, and others

Yeh Art Gallery at St. John’s University

Sun Yat Sen Memorial Hall, Yeh Art Gallery. Photo: Corrado Serra.

November 1, 2019
Program 2019–20: Chen Dongfan, Fevzi Yazıcı, and others
Yeh Art Gallery at St. John's University
8000 Utopia Parkway
New York, New York 11439
United States
Instagram / Facebook

The Dr. M.T. Geoffrey Yeh Art Gallery (Yeh Art Gallery) at St. John’s University announces its exhibitions for the 2019-2020 academic year, the first programming series initiated by the institution’s newly appointed Director, Owen Duffy. This programming series begins with the group exhibition Diplomacy, a composition of artistic responses to Yeh Art Gallery’s building, the historic Sun Yat Sen Memorial Hall. The series continues with the first institutional solo exhibtions in New York by artist Chen Dongfan and visual journalist Fevzi Yazıcı.

An interdisciplinary resource for the students, faculty, and staff of St. John’s University, as well as the surrounding community, the Yeh Art Gallery partners with contemporary artists to create dynamic learning opportunities that dovetail with the university’s unique mission of service. 

September 19–November 22, 2019
Christopher K. Ho, Lena Henke, Shahpour Pouyan, Reuven Israel, Alex Hayden, Carla Edwards, Anton Ginzburg, Ryan Flores,
Hai-Hsin Huang, Claudia Martínez Garay, and Claudia Peña Salinas.

Diplomacy is an exhibition dedicated to an iconic St. John’s University landmark: Sun Yat Sen Memorial Hall. On September 6, 1973, the pagoda-like building, which was to house a new center for Asian Studies, opened its doors to students. The center’s founder, Dr. Paul K.T. Sih, then proudly claimed in The New York Times that Sun Yat Sen Memorial Hall was “the first building of its kind out of China to incorporate traditional Oriental architecture.” Sun Yat Sen Memorial Hall has since become a postmodern landmark on the campus of St. John’s University, with its gleaming marble porch, brick walls, and golden tile roof imported from Taiwan. Named in honor of Sun Yat-sen, a revolutionary and statesman who fought for the unification of modern China (China’s “George Washington” Dr. Sih advised the Times), this historical backdrop frames the building as a form of soft power, a potent cultural symbol of, to quote Dr. Sih, “freedom, independence, and democracy.” This geopolitcally complicated building—and its remarkable context—becomes a generative point of departure for Diplomacy. The artists in this exhibition engage with the themes of soft power, diplomacy, and national identity, or have created site-sensitive works or installations that respond to the building and its history. Diplomacy is organized by Owen Duffy, Director of the Yeh Art Gallery with the support of Gallery Associate Cassandra Post.

Chen Dongfan: Sanctuary
January 30–May 1, 2020
Opening: January 30, 4–7pm

Chen Dongfan: Sanctuary, the artist’s first institutional solo exhibition in New York, responds to the uncanny confluence of geopolitical circumstances that shaped the Yeh Art Gallery. Housed in a distinctly traditional Chinese architectural compound on the idyllic campus of a Catholic university, the venue was constructed through funds provided by the Chiang Kai-Shek administration in the 1970s and features such anachronistic juxtapositions as a larger-than-life statue of Confucious and wood panels from the Republic of China’s 1964/65 World’s Fair pavilion. Chen’s project will encompass a panoramic black and white painting in the gallery and a performance developed in collaboration with the electronic music duo Shanghai Restoration Project. For Chen, the “sanctuary” evokes the sacredness as well as the emotional and communal resonance of both a personal creative space or a memorial hall. The sanctuary is ultimately an experimental space where the unlikeliest encounters feel right at home. This exhibition is curated by Xin Wang.

Fevzi Yazıcı: DARK WHITE
January 30–March 13, 2020
Opening: January 30, 4–7pm

Fevzi Yazıcı: DARK WHITE is the first institutional solo exhibition in New York by the award winning Turkish visual journalist. The exhibition consists of 40 works on paper by the artist, including drawings, typographies, and notes produced before and during his current incarceration in Istanbul. This exhibition is curated by Alex Morel, Associate Professor of Photography, St. John’s University.

Press contact: Dan Schwartz

About Art and Design at St. John’s University
Founded in 1870, St. John’s is a Catholic and Vincentian university that prepares students for personal and professional success in today’s global society. The university is home to an acclaimed Department of Art &  Design. Established in 1948 as the “Department of Fine Arts,” the Department of Art & Design currently offers undergraduate degree programs in Graphic Design, Fine Art, Illustration, and Photography, and a graduate program in Museum Administration.

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Yeh Art Gallery at St. John’s University
November 1, 2019

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