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  • Rosendo Merel Choy | Cultural Encounters

    Rosendo Merel Choy (B. Panama) Rosendo Merel Choy is part of a family of artists of Chinese ancestry who joined forces to work on the project. His grandfather arrived at the port of Colón, Panama, in the 1930s from Guangdong, and Rosendo was brought up with Chinese family traditions. #PANACHINA ​ Merel Choy completed his studies in animation production and design at Canada’s ICARI Institute in 2001. As a video artist, he employs technologies such as 3D mapping and virtual reality to create interactive installations in which the viewer is encouraged to interact with or manipulate the artwork. (2016) is an interactive video piece that plays with elements of design and video games to manipulate images of Chinese products popular in Panama, such as Tiger Head batteries and White Rabbit Creamy Candy. His work has been exhibited at the Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Panama in 2016, and he was part of the installation team for Carlos Cruz Diez Chromointerference digital restoration at SCAD in 2017. He also participated in the projects of 2014 and 2017. Hecho en China #PANACHINA back to collection

  • Copia de Flora Fong | Cultural Encounters

    Flora Fong back to collection

  • Tikashi Fukushima | Cultural Encounters

    Tikashi Fukushima (Japan, b. 1920 – Brazil, d. 2001) Tikashi Fukushima was born in Sōma, a city in the Fukushima Prefecture. In 1940, following Japan’s entry into World War II, he migrated at the age of twenty to Brazil, where he studied painting with the Japanese teacher Tadashi Kaminagai in Rio de Janeiro, later settling in São Paulo. In the 1950s, Fukushima abandoned his early figurative style, which included landscapes, still lifes, and portraits, and joined the ranks of other influential Japanese-Brazilian artists in the collective Seibi-Kai (Grupo de Artistas Plasticos de São Paulo), where he practiced his own informalist style. Fukushima began his artistic career at about the same time as Manabu Mabe, who was also a Japanese-Brazilian informalist; interestingly, both artists worked on coffee plantations in their youth. Fukushima’s mature work is characterized by energetic brushwork, variegated textures, and shifting color tones. Many of these works contain overlapping planes and gestural strokes that appear to float in a limitless, colored space; others evoke the wind, sea, and land. During the 1970s and 1980s, when his formalism was reaching its peak, Fukushima began to merge elements of the East and the West in his art, infusing his work with the colors of Brazil’s tropical landscape, along with the economy and fluidity of line of Zen Buddhist painting. He exhibited widely in Brazil and the United States throughout his career, and participated in two group exhibitions (1961, 1965) and one solo exhibition (1972) at the Organization of American States. Fukushima of Brazil. OAS exhibition brochure, 1972 Archives of the OAS AMA | Art Museum of the Americas 1/2 back to collection

  • Kazuo Wakabayashi | Cultural Encounters

    Kazuo Wakabayashi (Japan, b. 1931) Born in Kobe, Japan, in 1931, Kazuo Wakabayashi was already a trained artist when he immigrated to São Paulo in 1961. There, he became an influential member of the Japanese-Brazilian artistic community, joining the Seibi-Kai (Grupo de Artistas Plásticos de São Pablo), in which Tomie Ohtake and Manabu Mabe were already important figures. In an interview, he explained how essential Mabe’s support was for him as a newly emigrated artist finding his place in the Japanese artistic community in Brazil. Wakabayashi quickly gained popularity in Brazil, Japan, and the United States; and in 1965, just four years after his arrival in Brazil, he participated in a group exhibition of Japanese-Brazilian artists at the Organization of American States, where he also held his first US solo show in 1969. In the 1940s and 1950s, while still in Japan, Wakabayashi experimented with figure studies, landscapes, and portraits of the female body. His later, mature work can be divided into two periods. The first—beginning with his arrival in Brazil and continuing through the 1960s and 1970s—can be categorized as “informalist”, while also adhering to geometric principles, and is marked by thick, texturized surfaces and abstract, monochromatic forms. Regarding this first period, he has explained that his goal was to detach himself artistically from the Japanese tradition and look for what he calls the “real Brazilian heart”—although (ironically) much of his work in this period seems evocative, in its structure, of Japanese calligraphy. In his second and latest period, beginning in the 1980s, he returned overtly to Japanese tradition, translating characteristics of traditional Japanese woodcuts, and specifically Ukiyo-e prints—e.g., decorative effects, bright colors, and simple curved outlines—into three-dimensional, large-scale paintings and prints. Wakabayashi of Brazil. OAS exhibition brochure, 1969 Archives of the OAS AMA | Art Museum of the Americas 1/2 back to collection

  • Arturo Kubotta | Cultural Encounters

    Arturo Kubotta (Peru, b. 1932) Arturo Kubotta was born in Lima in 1932 to a Japanese father and Peruvian mother, and went on to pursue his artistic education in Peru, the United States, and Brazil, where he currently resides. Between 1953 and 1960, he studied at the Escuela Nacional de Bellas Artes in Lima, and from 1962 to 1964 at the Art Institute of Chicago. During his years at the Escuela, he was influenced by both European Informalism and American Expressionism, at a time when the artistic customs of the Japanese Gutai movement were mingling with Informalism. Kubotta’s mature abstract style incorporates understated color and a variety of textures—characterized by scholars as “tactile mists”—to evoke an illusion of limitless time and space. His use of earth tones and rough textures calls to mind Pre-Columbian art, while his gestural strokes echo Japanese calligraphic lines. In 1961, Kubotta participated in the group exhibition ; two years later, the OAS hosted Kubotta’s first solo exhibition. Japanese Artists of the Americas at the Organization of American States Japanese Artists of the Americas. OAS exhibition pamphlet, 1961 Archives of the OAS AMA | Art Museum of the Americas 1/6 back to collection

  • Manuel Choy Loo | Cultural Encounters

    Manuel Choy Loo (Panama, b. 1981) Manuel Choy, known in the Panama City graffiti art scene as SUMO, is the son of parents of Chinese descent. Growing up in Panama, he closely observed the Chinese traditions of his immigrant grandparents, one of which—the board game mahjong—later provided the inspiration for his piece Ma Chok, a highlight of the 2016 group exhibition . #PANACHINA ​ After studying architecture in 2000, Choy began to intervene with Panama City’s walls, “using the walls as canvas and the city itself as a gallery.” He and his cousin, the artist Cisco Merel, have immersed themselves in the graffiti/street art movement; Choy’s remarkable success in this medium has brought him to the legendary 5pointz mural space in New York City, as well as to venues in Barcelona. His work on walls has also allowed him to expand into such innovative fields as large-format video mapping. back to collection

  • Sri Irodikromo | Cultural Encounters

    Sri Irodikromo (Netherlands, b. 1972) Sri Irodikromo is the daughter of Soeki Irodikromo, also featured in this exhibition; together they represent two generations of artists of Javanese origin. Although born in the Netherlands, Irodikromo developed her artistic career in both Suriname and the Netherlands. She is an example of the cultural richness of Suriname—a true melting pot of cultures—and its continuing connection with the Netherlands beyond its independence in 1975. Irodikromo studied at the Nola Hatterman Institute, Suriname (1989-1992), and the De Vrije Kunst Academie, Netherlands (1994-1997), and also had graphical training (1994-1998). ​ Based in Surinamese multiculturality, Irodikromo's work incorporates elements from her Javanese inheritance as well as from Amerindian and Marron cultures. She combines these elements in large-format textiles, synthesized with various materials and techniques, such as the use of wood, the legendary Javanese batik, embroidery, and painting. Irodikromo explains that she is “fascinated by how all the different cultures in Suriname coexist and impact each other. Although their origins are very different, they have formed a uniquely unified community, respectful of one another’s cultures and traditions. And they have thus, in some way or another, consciously or subconsciously, helped change and shape each other’s identity in a positive sense.” ​ Irodikromo has exhibited extensively at the Readytex Art Gallery in Paramaribo. She participated in the exhibition at the AMA | Art Museum of the Americas (2011) and the project (2010). Wrestling with the Image: Caribbean Interventions Paramaribo Span back to collection

  • Artists | Cultural Encounters

    ARTISTS M.P. Alladin Reinier Asmoredjo Kereina Chang Fatt Margaret Chen Albert Chong Manuel Choy Loo Laura Fong Prosper Tikashi Fukushima Richard Fung Hisae Ikenaga Soeki Irodikromo Sri Irodikromo Arturo Kubotta Wifredo Lam Manabu Mabe Suchitra Mattai Cisco Merel Choy Rosendo Merel Choy Wendy Nanan Luis Nishizawa Tomie Ohtake Hiroyuki Okumura Kiyoto Ota Bernadette Persaud Sunil Puljhun Sonnylal Rambissoon Dhiradj Ramsamoedj Samuel Rumaldo Choy Carlos Runcie Tanaka Andrea Saito Kazuya Sakai Venancio Shinki Kit-Ling Tjon Pian Gi Eduardo Tokeshi Rene Tosari Yutaka Toyota Kazuo Wakabayashi Katarina Wong

  • Richard Fung | Cultural Encounters

    Richard Fung (Trinidad and Tobago, b. 1954) Fung was born into a Chino-Trinidadian household. His mother, the daughter of Chinese laborers who immigrated to Trinidad in the nineteenth century, is the subject of one of his video pieces, (1990), which examines her divided heritage. Fung’s family eventually moved to Toronto, where the artist now lives and works. Fung studied at the Ontario College of Art and Design (OCAD) and later took courses in film studies and sociology at the University of Toronto. Today, he is a well-established video artist and a professor at OCAD. My Mother’s Place ​ Fung’s video art focuses on issues of migration, race, and bigotry, sometimes drawing on his family’s experiences of diaspora and colonialism. In his video piece (2002), he uses the John Huston film to comment on racism and indentureship as part of the brutal legacy of colonialism. In the video, the artist reveals how the movie, set in 1944 in the Pacific, was in fact filmed in Tobago in 1956, using Trinidadian Chinese extras to play Japanese soldiers. He makes the case that his uncle is one of those extras. Islands Heaven Knows, Mr. Allison ​ Fung has published the book (2002), coedited with Monika Kin Gagnon. He has shown his videos in several exhibitions in Trinidad and Tobago, the United States, and Canada, as well as in Europe and Asia. In 2011, he exhibited at the AMA | Art Museum of the Americas in the exhibition . 13 Conversations about Art and Cultural Race Politics Wrestling with the Image: Caribbean Interventions back to collection

  • Sonnylal Rambissoon | Cultural Encounters

    Sonnylal rambissoon (Trinidad and Tobago, b. 1926 - D. 1995) Sonnylal Rambissoon was born in Trinidad and Tobago, the grandson of indentured workers. His maternal grandfather migrated from India as a young man to work on the sugar plantations of the island’s Naparima region, and Rambissoon’s father was a sugarcane worker as well. Rambissoon’s artistic calling led him to Europe, where in 1964, he finished his studies at the Brighton College of Arts and Crafts in England, having spent the summer of 1963 in Paris at the Atelier 17 under the mentorship of the master printmaker Stanley W. Hayter. From 1964 to 1965 he took on postgraduate work at the University of London, and was elected an Associate of the Royal Society of Painter-Etchers and Engravers. ​ Although a prolific creator of drawings, paintings, and sculptures, Rambissoon is best known for his prints—particularly his etchings and engravings—which embrace an abstract vocabulary and a wide range of materials, including plywood, vinyl, and Masonite. In 1978, he participated in the project (AGPA). After retiring from his job as a school principal in 1982, he spent two years in London, after which his work shifted largely to painting, becoming more realist and focused on landscapes. Artes Gráficas Pan Americanas ​ Rambissoon exhibited at the AMA | Art Museum of the Americas in the exhibitions Contemporary Art (1972) and (1976). His work became part of the AMA collection through the AGPA in 1981. From the Caribbean: Barbados, Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago Three Artists from Trinidad and Tobago: Vera Baney, Ottaway Jones and Sonnylal Rambissoon back to collection