Monday, October 31, 2011

The “Charis: Boundary Crossings” Exhibition at Dordt College

A photograph of the Charis Exhibition installation at Dordt College. Photograph by versluis © 2011.

The following article (used with permission) is by Adam McDonald editor for the Dordt Diamond, the student newspaper:

The newest addition to the Dordt College Art Gallery “Charis: Boundary Crossings — Neighbors, Strangers, Family, Friends” is a series comprised of various works between seven North American and seven Asian artists. “The gist of this was to form collaborations between American artists and those in Asia,” said Art Professor David Versluis. “They met in Indonesia for two weeks exploring art and Christianity on a global level.”

Charis is a Greek word that means “grace” but more literally, “good will”. The term has been used by many Asian Christian artists as they find themselves in pluralistic societies. The challenges of cross-cultural communication, the need for people of faith to address real world issues, social justice, peace and reconciliation, not to mention the effects of globalization make this a complex contemporary exhibition.

Paintings, sculpture, fiber constructions, installation and video projections are all a part of the medium of the show and shows a strong diversity in not only the kinds of artists that comprise the show but in the kinds of media one can see in the show itself.

“It’s interesting that the Asian artists, according to some of the North American artists, had a strong social justice component to their work,” said Versluis. “The display really shows you different ways to look at art based on cultural context. For instance, the North American artists seem to be more educated within art academies and tend to think more in terms of postmodern work. In contrast, most of the Asian artists show a strong allegiance to formalism, the form of a painting as well as figurative work.”

Versluis heard about the show through Art Professor Rachel Hostetter Smith, curator of the exhibit, who teaches at Taylor University. “I was interested in the theme of the show and thought it would be worthwhile to bring to Dordt,” said Versluis. The show is being funded by the Andreas Center for Reformed Scholarship and will remain at Dordt until the end of the 2011 school year.
Professor Smith will be at Dordt on November 18 for a reception and gallery talk. Exhibiting artists include: Roger Feldman, U.S.A.; Edgar Talusan Fernandez, Philippines; Daniel Enrique Garcia, U.S.A., b. Peru; Emmanuel Garibay, Philippines; David J.P. Hooker, U.S.A.; Barry Krammes, U.S.A.; Timur Indyah Poerwowidagdo, Indonesia; Rondal Reynoso, U.S.A.; Wisnu Sasongko, Indonesia; Chris Segre-Lewis, U.S.A., b. Jamaica; Erland Sibuea, Bali; Ni Ketut Ayu Sri Wardani, Indonesia; Jo-Ann Van Reeuwyk, U.S.A. and Canada; and Soichi Watanabe, Japan.

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