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"Observance" - 16th Annual PEM Inspirational Exhibit

Salem Arts Association asked its members to visit the Zachari Logan: Remembrance exhibit at the Peabody Essex Museum and reflect on it and the Covid-19 pandemic to create works in observance of our personal and collective experience. We hope that this exhibit will provide a cathartic experience both for the artists who participate and visitors to the gallery.  

Reception: July 1, 6-8ppm

Exhibition Dates: July 1 - August 27 


Stephanie Hueon Tung, Byrne Family Curator of Photography

Stephanie Tung leads the interpretation and presentation of the museum’s growing photography collection, which spans the 19th century through today. A specialist in the history of photography of China, her research focuses on transnational art exchanges, global modernism, translation studies, and notions of artistic labor.

Formerly serving as PEM’s Assistant Curator and then Associate Curator with a focus on photography, Tung was instrumental in shepherding the 2020 acquisition of approximately 1,600 photographs by artists with ties to East Asia, a gift made possible through the generosity of the Joy of Giving Something Foundation. Tung served as the Assistant Curator on PEM’s 2019–20 exhibition, A Lasting Memento: John Thomson’s Photographs Along the River Min, and is currently co-curating PEM’s highly-anticipated, upcoming exhibition, Power and Perspective: Early Photography in China, which opens in September 2022.

Prior to joining PEM in 2018, Tung worked at the Three Shadows Photography Art Centre in Beijing, China, as a curator and director of international affairs. She has published widely on photography and contemporary art from China, as a contributor to Aperture and the Trans-Asia Photography Review and contributing author to The Chinese Photobook (Aperture, 2015) and Art and China After 1989: Theater of the World(Guggenheim, 2017). Her most recent book, Ai Weiwei: Beijing 1993-2003 (MIT Press, 2019), was co-authored with Ai Weiwei and John Tancock and serves as a continuation of Ai Weiwei: New York 1983-1993, for which she also served as lead researcher.

Tung holds a Bachelor of Art in Literature and History of Art and Architecture from Harvard University, and a Masters of Arts in Art & Archeology from Princeton University. This year, she is completing her Ph.D. in Princeton’s Art & Archeology program with her dissertation, Pictorial China: Art Photography in the Republican Era, 1923–1929.

Follow @i.am.stung on Instagram.


Juror Statement

Zachary Logan’s Remembrance invites visitors to reflect on the power of loss and the healing potential of grief. I was particularly struck by the powerful emotions conveyed in the work on display at SAA. Though I didn’t have any accompanying text, I could see that a lot of thought and emotion went into the creation of these works. 

Awards



Patricia Scialo "I Heard Your Voice:

I loved the layering of the cyanotype photograph with the notes and encaustic. Photography has always been connected to ideas of loss and remembrance, especially in vernacular photographs of family, friends, and loved ones. Encaustic is also a medium that has been used in death masks and portraiture. The marrying of these two mediums in the assemblage seems to still time, with fragments of memories peeking through. 

-- Stephanie Hueon Tung, Byrne Family Curator of Photography


Karen Gourley Lehman "Yesterday's Peonies"

The photograph of decaying flowers is a striking composition that reminded me of Logan’s meditations on life, death, and rebirth. This particular style, with the close-up of the petals and emphasis on light, color, and abstract forms, evokes a Dutch still life and its reflections on transience. 

-- Stephanie Hueon Tung, Byrne Family Curator of Photography

 



Zenovia Limberakis "Byzantine Road Shrine:

This wonderful shrine seems to be assembled from mirrors, jewels, coins, and religious icons. I assume the cup at the bottom is meant to hold incense. The idea of the shrine as an immersive spiritual environment, in which one inhales the sweet smell of incense while contemplating under the protection of the eye and mirrors, is captivating. I think it resonates beautifully with the exhibition’s call for reflection. 

-- Stephanie Hueon Tung, Byrne Family Curator of Photography


Honorable Mentions

The four honorable mentions were chosen for the skill and mastery in the mediums that the artists chose. Combining the themes of the Logan exhibition with their own perspectives and particular media, I found these were all compelling works. Bravo! 


Heather Sardis "Astral Projection"


Janet Schwartz "Blue Trees"



CJ Karch "Grace"



Tom Darsney "Hands"


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