USC Pacific Asia Museum

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46 North Los Robles Avenue
Pasadena, California 91101
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USC Pacific Asia Museum

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Calligraffiti: Writing in Contemporary Chinese and Latino Art

Sept. 17, 2009 – Jan. 17, 2010
In the Changing Exhibition Galleries

Guest Curator: Collette Chattopadhyay

View the Exhibition Brochure [PDF:944KB]

Across the Divide
Across the Divide, by Xu Bing, Vince Cavallo, Scud, Duce, and Sano. 
Pasadena, CA, 2003, Oil and Acrylic on Vinyl, USC Pacific Asia Museum Collection, 2003.31.1C.

Calligraffiti: Writing in Contemporary Chinese and Latino Art addresses issues of power, culture, and universality. The process of writing in art is a central theme, permitting the exploration of correlations between the elevated form, calligraphy, and its historically devalued twin, graffiti. Suggesting that these visual practices mirror each other, the exhibition presents works that critique or parody social and artistic frames of reference.

Premised on the idea that art is a game that mirrors the realities of life, the works in this exhibition suggest that through “calligraffiti” (calligraphy + graffiti), knowledge can be constructed that simultaneously embraces the elevated and debased, intention and chance, reality and myth. Layering languages, histories, and philosophies, the works collectively trace evolving paradigms of artistic thought and practice to enhance greater respect and understanding of social and cultural multiplicity and difference.

Artists featured in the exhibition include: Apex, Chaz Bojorquez, Vince Cavallo, Cre8, Desi W.O.M.E., Duce, Fung Ming Chip, Gronk, Gu Wenda, Jerk, Keo, Leo Limon, Man One, Minette Lee Mangahas, Sano, Scud, John Valadez, Vyal, Xu Bing, Yu Kun Yang, Zhang Dali, Zheng Chongbin, and John Zender.

Sponsored by Pasadena Art Council, and Rene Balcer and Carolyn Hsu.

Watch a video on the making of the murals:

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