USC Pacific Asia Museum

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Pasadena, California 91101
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Banquet: A Feast for the Senses

November 10, 2006 - February 4, 2007

Harvest 1
Detail, Harvest 1,
Li Jin, 2004, inkwash on
Xuan paper, 20 x 182.5 in.,
courtesy of East West Bank

Throughout history, and across the globe, people have expressed their ideas of family, friendship, and spirituality at the banquet table. Banquet: A Feast for the Senses is a multi-media, contemporary art exhibition that explores concepts of the Asian banquet and the link between food and culture as expressed in works of art. In Banquet, the role of food in society will focus on aspects of family, gender, and religion.

The Asian and Asian-American artists selected for participation in this international exhibition include Chiho Aoshima, Ambreen Butt, Patty Chang, Jiae Hwang, Sang-Bin Im, Takehito Koganezawa, Aragna Ker, Susan Lee-Chun, Li Jin, Kohei Nawa, Kaz Oshiro, Jung Eun Park, Zhang Huan, and Zhi Lin.

Highlights of the exhibition include the work of Li Jin, an artist who specializes in ink-wash paintings on paper that represent scenes of everyday life. Li is most influenced by depictions of food in Song (960–1279) and Yuan (1260–1368) dynasty Gongbi paintings—a style known for its meticulous and graceful style.

Detail of 'Sublime Cave Dweller Shinko'
Sublime Grave Dweller Shinko, Chiho Aoshima, 2004, Chromogenic Print, 30 x 118 inches,
Courtesy of Blum & Poe, Los Angeles/Galerie Emmanuel Perrotin Paris & Miami,
©2004 Chiho Aoshima/Kaikai Kiki Co., Ltd. All Rights Reserved.

Referencing the intersection of food with gender issues, Chiho Aoshima’s computer drawn, digital print Sublime Grave Dweller Shinko, portrays the deity Shinko in the act of consuming negative souls in a cemetery and exhaling their cleansed spirits in the form of moths. A young woman shown post-bicycle accident in the lower right-hand corner appears to have lost all self-confidence. Aoshima's intent here is to portray and all-too-common forlorn female figure, contrasting starkly with the vibrant goddess Shinko.

Foam Series
Detail, Foam series, Zhang Huan, 1998, c-print on Fuji archival paper, 60 x 40 in., courtesy of Rubell Family Collection

Zhang Huan gained international attention through provocative performances in which he often incorporated his own body. In the self-portrait Foam, he is shown devouring an old family photograph while covered in soapy foam. Zhang’s act of simultaneously cleansing his body and consuming the photos represents a desire to absorb and make his relatives literally a part of him.

Although it is anticipated that Banquet exhibition will stimulate a dialog between ethnicities, generations, popular culture, and history, the exhibition is primarily a sensory experience. Banquet will offer a lavish “feast” that will delight the senses with a varied flavors and textures. Traditional salty elements balance sweet essences. Sour bits mingled with hot spicy flourishes. Familiar ingredients combined and prepared in new ways result in a visual food fusion that nourishes the mind, body, and soul.

Chip Tom, Guest Curator

Banquet is sponsored by the Pasadena Art Alliance and the James Irvine Foundation.

Related Events

Saturday, November 11, 2 pm, free w/admission
Panel Discussion- Artists exhibited in Banquet: A Feast for the Senses moderated by Curator Chip Tom. For reservations call 626.449.2742 ext. 31.

Saturday, December 9, 2pm, free w/admission
Guest Curator's Tour of Banquet: A Feast for the Senses. For reservations call 626.449.2742 ext. 31.

Saturday, December 16, 2pm, free w/admission
Senior Curator's Tour with Rochelle Kessler of Banquet: A Feast for the Senses. For reservations call 626.449.2742 ext. 31.