Nourishment returns to contemporary art in more ways than one in the exhibition The Construction of National Identity by Stephen Lapthisophon. This recent work addresses issues of place, identity, and history through acts of the hand including drawing, writing and preparing food.
This new installation will focus on the recipe for the traditionally Spanish rice dish Paella. According to the artist, rice is a symbol for cultural hybridity because it translates into the cuisine of most countries. Lapthisophon is himself a cultural hybrid from Thai and Irish descent who has spent much time in Germany and Italy. Living among the language, food and music of these countries has had an effect on the artist’s aesthetic. The manner in which experiences translate from one culture to another is a major focal point in his text and sound based work. The Construction of National Identity will include a wall drawing made with perishable materials like rice flour and saffron ink, found objects, audio and photographs to refer to the various ways we make our mark in the world, both literally and figuratively, through the things we eat and prepare with our hands.
Stephen Lapthisophon is a multimedia artist and writer whose recent work addresses questions of language, history and cultural memory. Legally blind since 1994, his practice has grown to explore the qualities of sensory perception and conceptual concerns in the broad range of media he incorporates. His work has been exhibited in many Chicago venues including Gallery 400 at UIC, the Museum of Contemporary Art, the Hyde Park Art Center, Gallery 312, N.A.M.E. and Randolph Street galleries. In other cities, his works has been shown at Artists Space (NY), the High Museum of Art (Atlanta), the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth and abroad at Zagreus Projekt (Berlin) and El Escaparate (Barcelona). He received an MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and currently teaches art at The University of Texas at Arlington. Lapthisophon is represented by Conduit Gallery in Dallas, Texas.