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51 N. 2nd St.
Philadelphia, PA 19106
October 5th, 2012 - November 12th, 2012
Opening: October 5th, 2012 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM

other (outside main areas)
Wed-Sat 11-5 and by appointment


The exhibition is conceived as a small-scale international traveling show of five
female artists from Asia or of Asian descent touching venues in North America as
well as Asia. Taking inspiration from the concept of a care package sent to each
host country, the artists will ship or bring their gifts in the form of multi-media
works that will be shared with local audiences.

A rich tradition exists throughout Asian countries of gift packages exchanged
as social contract and, while unwritten, they embody strong cultural, social,
political and economic codings. In North America, care packages are associated
with goodies sent from loved ones to their children and youth who are away from
home (usually off to camp, college, or the military). Historically the CARE
package was the unit of aid at the core of the food relief effort developed in 1945
by the US-based humanitarian CARE organization and was sent to a large
number of Europeans at risk of starvation in the wake of World War II. It soon
became an icon of American generosity and global leadership.

In an era where the concept of “American generosity and global leadership” is a
far cry from its meaning during the post-war years, the participating artists will tell
stories that grow out of their own personal history and cultural heritage to tackle
issues of nationhood, race, gender, religion, and economic exploitation on a
world scale, in the context of emergent global capitalism.

Storytelling and a deep interest in history and untold stories is a shared strategy
amongst this collective of interdisciplinary artists. The five participating artists
are: Shelly Bahl (born in Benares, living between New York and Toronto); Shelly
Jyoti (Born in Rohtak, living in New Delhi); Laura Kina (born in Riverside, CA, to
a Japanese father and Basque/Anglo mother, and living in Chicago); Saira
Wasim (born in Lahore, living in Chicago); and Cambodian-American Anida Yoeu
Ali (currently living in Phnom Penh, Cambodia).

In a grass roots diplomatic effort, they are collaborating with an Italian, New York based
curator to conduct a trans-cultural dialogue between their works, their
countries of origin, and the intersections and migrations between.
About the artists and the curator:
Shelly Bahl is a visual and media artist born in Benares, India, and currently
based in New York City. Her interdisciplinary work in drawing, painting, sculpture/
installation, photography and video, has appeared in a number of solo and group
exhibitions in North America and internationally over the past 16 years. Her
recent projects include group exhibitions at: Queens Museum of Art, White Box,
Art Gallery of Greater Victoria, India Art Summit, Aicon Gallery, and Religare Arts
Shelly Jyoti is a New Delhi based visual artist, fashion-designer, a poet and an
independent curator whose research centers on designs of 20th century textiles,
costumes and historical iconographic elements within the cultural context of
Indian history. Her textile art series 'Indigo Narratives ' (2009-12) and ‘Beyond
Mithila' (2008-12) have shown internationally and have been reviewed by leading
national newspapers and Art magazines. Her essays and art publications are
included in Sahitya Akademi of Indian English literature and Art magazines. She
has lectured and held workshop series on 6 &7th Century Indian art-forms in
academic institutions and international universities.
Laura Kina is Associate Professor of Art, Media, and Design at DePaul
University in Chicago, IL. Her paintings and textile works address Asian
American history and mixed race representations. Her artwork has shown
internationally and been published in Modeling Citizenship: Jewish and Asian
American Writing (Temple University Press, 2011); Other Tongues: Mixed-Race
Women Speak Out (Inanna Publications, 2010); and Embracing Ambiguity:
Faces of the Future (Cal State Fullerton, 2010); The New Authentics: Artists of
the Post-Jewish Generation (Spertus Museum, 2007).
Saira Wasim has carved a niche for herself with her innovative and meticulously
crafted Persian miniatures, which she employs to make devastating political and
social commentary. Ms. Wasim’s work has been widely feted, and has been
exhibited at numerous prominent art institutions including the Whitney Museum
of American Art, Asian Art Museum in San Francisco, the Asia Society in New
York, and the Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum in Ridgefield, CT. She has
recently noted that persecution as an Ahmadiyya Muslim was key in shaping her
artistic perspectives. New York Times describes her work as "exquisite political
cartoons that conjure and sometimes borrow directly from Norman Rockwell”.
Anida Yoeu Ali is a performance artist, writer, and global agitator. She is a first
generation Muslim Khmer woman born in Cambodia and raised in Chicago. In
2011, Ali returned to work in Phnom Penh as part of her U.S. Fulbright
Fellowship research on creation mythologies. Utilizing an interdisciplinary
approach to art making, her installation and performance works investigate the
artistic, spiritual and political collisions of a hybrid transnational identity. From the
Faroe Islands to the Bronx, Copenhagen to Ho Chi Minh City, she lectures,
exhibits and performs internationally. Ali is a collaborative partner with Studio
Revolt, an independent media lab operating out of Phnom Penh where she
currently resides.
Ombretta Agrò Andruff is a New York-based freelance curator, art critic and
consultant. She has curated solo and group shows in Europe, the US, and India,
collaborating with museums, art festivals, and art fairs - such as Queens
Museum of Art, Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, The Armory Show, The Art
Basel Miami Fair, The Downtown Arts Festival, The d.u.m.b.o. art under the
Bridge Festival. She is a New York contributor for Italian art magazines Arte
Critica, Tema Celeste, and Label and collaborates as well with the New Yorkbased,
The Art Tribune and New York Arts Magazine. She has recently joined
the staff of Asian Contemporary Art Week as Associate Director.
For more information please contact Twelve Gates Arts, 51 N 2nd St., Phila,
PA 19106, Tel: 215 253 8578