Opening Friday May 17, 5 - 7pm
An exhibition of ceramics in Downtown Oakland
Featuring student artists from Oakland High and Bay Area artist Cathy Lu
A celebration with poetry, refreshments and story telling
Family and friends welcome!
featuring student artists:
Zi Feng G
Chu Yin L
Ronysha . R
The exhibition will be open May 17 - June 8, 2019
The art students of Oakland High School and teacher Rumi Koshino have made clay figures representing personal and culturally significant objects in their lives. Bay Area ceramic artist Cathy Lu helped teach and inspire the class to create these ceramic replicas. Each object is paired with a description of what makes the "artifact" meaningful and memorable. Some students write about cultural objects that remind them of the country that they were born in, or that their family is from. Some students write about gifts that they were given or belongings that were passed down to them. Some students made replicas of their favorite foods, a concha, a chocolate birthday cake, a plate of fruit. A group of flags hang on the wall, including Guatemala, El Salvador, and the U.S. flag. More everyday objects like skate boards, a landline phone, a sketchbook, a portable speaker, all hold unique and sometimes unexpected meaning to the students who made them.
Cathy Lu describes her work to be influenced by "ideas of cultural ‘authenticity’ and ‘tradition’ interface with contemporary trans-cultural experiences." In her practice she alters 'traditionally' Chinese objects to create a dialogue about the expanse that cultural experience can look like which surpasses the structures of ideally authentic or traditional. Each student's artifact represents the variety of an experience, even if an object repeats no student's story is the same.
"This piece of art is significant to me because its a representation of my culture. The marimba is the national instrument of my home country, Guatemala. The instrument is similar to the xylophone; it is made from wood and it is played by two mallets. Each wooden bar creates a different sound, the bigger the bar is, the lower the note will be and the smaller the bar is, the higher the note will be. Although there is no lyrics used while playing the instrument, I like hearing it because it creates different melodies."
To love is to share what little you have
"I decided to make this art project based on the memories I have of the stories that my mother told me, how difficult it was for her, her brothers and fathers to find something to eat in their time before. My mom told me that sometimes they went to look for bird eggs and they warmed them so they could share a bite of tortilla, egg and salt. This artwork, for me, expresses that even in a dish with very little food, many could share and be happy. Today in our times we fill our plates with all kinds of food, but because of our selfishness, we do not want to share with those who have nothing."
A Year's Fortune
Chuyi F. Jenny N.
"When Lunar New Year rolls around, most Asian households would put up a fruit platter—a very complicated one or a very simple one—to wish for good luck and fortune in the upcoming year. Each fruit on the fruit platter symbolizes a propitious meaning, which rhymes with the names of each individual fruit. On this specific fruit platter, the pomelo symbolizes blessings; the mandarin oranges represent auspice; and the apple corresponds with peace. The character "Fortune" is hung upside down on the pomelo; since "upside down" rhymes with "arrive" in the Chinese language, fortune hung upside down can also be depicted as "fortune has arrived". The red envelopes beneath the fruits were believed to have the ability to bring health and longevity into the human life."