Luz, Heart and Unity weaves together artist Raymond Kitamura's use of a non-western Japanese aesthetic known as Wabi Sabi to call attention to social injustice with Megan James's differential approach that questions the making of history from above. Both artists challenge the alienation of individuals prevalent in today's modern world and call for the revaluation of existing norms such as power, dominance and authority. Luz Heart and Unity: The Convergence of Them All is a multi-dialogue between viewers and the artwork, between ideas and ways of being.
This exhibit revolves around art as a contestant that refuses to close its doors to truth and memory as is with Raymond Kitamura's artwork. His decolonial approach breaks with the traditional perception of Wabi Sabi, one that contemplates the beauty of imperfection. Kitamura's series social justice adds to Wabi Sabi's aesthetics; memory, protest and hope. His use of oxidized steel and rescued weathered objects such as wood brings about a poetic aged statement for the philosophy of Buen Vivir (good living), a concept of harmonious development that takes into consideration the individual coexistence with nature. He challenges capitalist's creation of emptiness, a constant void to be filled and satisfied by consumption. Kitamura's expressive sculptures are memorial testimonies that cease not to forget those who have and continue to struggle for a world where many worlds can coexist.
Megan James conceptual drawings puts forth question relevant to assigned romantic notions instilled by cultural producing entities. She draws from history and sociology. To draw with lines for artist James is to take them out to question society. Her drawings are subtle and oppositional manifestations. They are intimid windows opened to be viewed from either side. Megan James emphases on meticulous details in her work are examinations between particular cultural norms and the rest of the world. Her work is a delicate balance that stages the tension between the everyday person and centers of power. She explores limits in her art not as where something ends but where things begin. Her search for questions does not end with an answer but continue to challenge the existing ownership of knowledge.
Luz, Heart and Unity is currently exhibiting at the Casa 0101 Jean Deleage Art Gallery through November 8th.