Continuing Sapar Contemporary’s commitment to international artistic voices, the gallery is excited to announce the opening of its first group show, Hiding in Plain Sight. The exhibition, curated by Dallas Contemporary Director of Exhibitions/Senior Curator Justine Ludwig, draws inspiration from the technique of camouflage, used by animals to escape perception. In nature, detailed markings enable animals to appear as either predators or alternatively blend into their surroundings. This technique has been adapted to military contexts and is synonymous with martial fashions. Camouflage has become a loaded symbol. In the exhibition Hiding in Plain Sight, five artists use the technique of camouflage to obscure a message. They co-opt diverse languages in order to share subversive information. Content is hidden in the banal, exploring how deeper investment can lead to greater understanding. Featuring the work of international artists who each take a different approach to this subject matter—Carlos Amorales, Faiza Butt, Parastou Forouhar, Tsang Kin-Wah, and K. Yoland, Hiding in Plain Sight asks the viewer to take a second look at their quotidian surroundings.
Carlos Amorales (b. 1970 Mexico City, Mexico) has penned fictitious news stories that he was able to have printed in a popular Mexican newspaper. Adopting the publication’s style of writing and structure, the artist and his team have managed to get seven spurious articles published. These articles range from a creative retelling of a popular novel to claims of Amorales’s ability to be in two locations at once.
Faiza Butt (b. 1973 Lahore, Pakistan, based in London, United Kingdom) superimposes animalistic camouflage patterns on the faces of men. These individuals—two from her trendy neighborhood in London and one from Afghanistan—have ambiguous origin, leading to question prejudice and identity. Each image is rendered in Butt’s signature style, inspired by the Mughal miniaturist practice and reminiscent of pointillism.
Parastou Forouhar (b. 1962 Tehran, Iran, based in Frankfurt, Germany) uses elaborating patterning to hide violent acts. In these works, the activist/artist responds to the social and political situation in her home country of Iran. Figures are anonymous, interlocking, and, at times, bound.
Tsang Kin-Wah (b. 1976 Santou, China, based in Hong Kong) merges text with decorative William-Morris-inspired designs — obscuring messages hidden the hidden messages therein. Vulgarities prevalent on the Internet are interlaced with mundane descriptions in both English and Chinese, to make elaborate patterns. The work appears as if chat room banter has reorganized itself into lush floral designs.
K. Yoland (B. 1980 London, United Kingdom, based between Dallas, Texas and London, United Kingdom) addresses the rapid gentrification of the Heygate Estate in Elephant and Castle, London. In her photographic series, Invisible Angels, young men are attired in cling film and shopping bags, effectively merging with their surroundings at times, while appearing as a gang at others.
About Justine Ludwig
Ludwig is the Director of Exhibitions/ Senior Curator at Dallas Contemporary. In recent years she has curated exhibitions at the Contemporary Arts Center in Cincinnati, the Tufts University Art Gallery, and the Museum of Modern Art in Rio de Janeiro. Her curatorial projects include Nadia Kaabi-Linke: Walk the Line, Paola Pivi: Ma’am, Aura Satz: Her Marks, A Measure, Illuminated Geographies: Pakistani Miniaturist Practice in the Wake of the Global Turn, and Pia Camil: Skins. Her research interests include memory, new media, architecture, economics, and the aesthetics of globalization. Ludwig has an MA in Global Arts from Goldsmiths University of London.
About Sapar Contemporary
Sapar Contemporary Gallery is the brainchild of Raushan Sapar and Nina Levent. Sapar Contemporary span three generations and five continents. They engage in global conversations and develop vocabularies that resonate as strongly in Baku, Almaty and Istanbul as they do in New York, Berlin and Mexico City. Their artistic practices vary from meditative traditional ink painting to writing programming code; what connects them are the artists’ capacity for empathy, insight, and imagination, their whimsy and generosity of spirit, as well as the rigor and depth of their studio practice. Sapar Contemporary commissions works that are site-specific to New York, but infused with sensibilities, materialities and traditions of the artists’ backgrounds.
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