Chi, IL Live Shows On Our Radar
Wrightwood 659 presents Trio of Exhibitions,
April 14 – July 15, 2023:
Kongkee: Warring States cyberpunk / Shahidul alam: singed but not burnt /
Patric McCoy: Take My Picture
London-based artist and animation director kongkee leads tour of electronic arts exhibition, warring states cyberpunk, with curator abby chen, saturday, April 15th, acclaimed bangladeshi photographer/activist Shahidul Alam shares his vocabularies of resistance, plus Burnt but not singed book signing, at south asia institute, tuesday, April 18th, an artful evening offers exhibition tour with chicago photographer Patric McCoy at wrightwood 659, plus festive reception at casati’s modern italian, thursday, May 4th.
In support of its upcoming trio of Spring/Summer exhibitions opening April 14 –Kongkee: Warring States Cyberpunk, Shahidul Alam: Singed But Not Burnt, and Patric McCoy: Take My Picture – Wrightwood 659 is proud offer a series of rare and insightful meet-the-artist opportunities:
Kongkee: Warring States Cyberpunk exhibition tour with artist and curator
Saturday, April 15, 12:30-1:30pm.
Through multi-screen videos, wall projections, neon installations, vibrant graphic works, narrative texts, and ancient Chinese objects, Kongkee: Warring States Cyberpunk tells the story of legendary poet Qu Yuan, who lived during the Warring States Period (c. 481-221 BCE), as his soul journeys from the ancient Chu Kingdom to a retro-futuristic Asia where he is reborn as an android in a psychedelic cyberpunk landscape. Originally conceived by Kongkee as a comic series in 2013, the exhibition transports viewers into an imaginary world where past and future collide. Join artist Kong Khong-chang, known as Kongkee, and Abby Chen, Senior Associate Curator of Contemporary Art at the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco, which organized the exhibition, for a unique and intimate tour of this illuminating work.
Tour included with standard $15 exhibition tickets; online reservations required by visiting https://tickets.wrightwood659.org/events
Shahidul Alam on Vocabularies of Resistance
Tuesday, April 18, 6-7:30pm.
South Asia Institute, 1925 S. Michigan Avenue
Direct from Bangladesh, Shahidul Alam, a humanitarian activist, institution builder, and prominent South Asian photographer will introduce Vocabularies of Resistance. Following the War of Independence in his home country of Bangladesh, Alam witnessed the effects of political upheaval, from the rise of an autocratic general to the displacement of indigenous groups and the burgeoning Rohingya refugee crises. Alam makes visible the resilience of those living in the world’s densest regions while empowering people to use photography to reveal their own stories. Following the lecture, Alam will sign copies of his new photo book, also titled Singed But Not Burnt, available for purchase on-site.
The South Asia Institute, under the direction of founders Shireen and Afzal Ahmad, aims to cultivate the art and culture of South Asia and its diaspora through local and global collaborations, curated exhibitions, innovative programs, and educational initiatives that aim to engage diverse communities.
Tickets are $10, and available by reservation at https://tickets.wrightwood659.org/1906/vocabularies-of-resistance or at the door. Ticket price includes the lecture and a reception with the artist.
An Artful Evening with Patric McCoy
Thursday, May 4, 5:30-8:30pm.
This sophisticated evening of art and apps starts off at Wrightwood 659 (659 W. Wrightwood Ave.), for viewing the galleries of three newly opened exhibitions including Kongkee: Warring States Cyberpunk, Shahidul Alam: Singed But Not Burnt, and Patric McCoy: Take My Picture. At 6pm, Chicago photographer Patric McCoy will lead a tour of his exhibition and share behind-the-scenes stories of the 1980s Black gay scene he captured in photographs. Starting at 7pm, guests are invited to enjoy a festive champagne reception at nearby Casati’s Modern Italian (444 Fullerton Pkwy.) Note: last entry to Wrightwood 659 will be 6:45pm.
Tickets are $40 (all-inclusive for gallery entry and reception), and are available by advance reservation only https://tickets.wrightwood659.org/1903/cyberpunkchampagne
More about Spring/Summer Exhibitions at Wrightwood 659,
April 14-July 15, 2023:
Kongkee: Warring States Cyberpunk
Kongkee: Warring States Cyberpunk features the work of London-based Chinese artist and animation director Kong Khong-chang, known as Kongkee. Through multi-screen videos, wall projections, neon installations, vibrant graphic works, narrative texts, and ancient Chinese objects, the exhibition tells the story of legendary poet Qu Yuan, who lived during the Warring States Period (c. 481-221 BCE), as his soul journeys from the ancient Chu Kingdom to a retro-futuristic Asia where he is reborn as an android in a psychedelic cyberpunk landscape. Originally conceived by Kongkee as a comic series in 2013, the exhibition transports viewers into an imaginary world where past and future collide.
Kongkee: Warring States Cyberpunk is organized by the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco, where it debuted in November 2022, and curated by its head of contemporary art, Abby Chen.
Patric McCoy: Take My Picture
In the 1980s, Patric McCoy traveled around Chicago on his bike, always with his camera. From the lakefront to the Loop, McCoy found no shortage of Black men who wanted their picture taken. Over a ten-year period, he shot thousands of images at his subjects’ request. Patric McCoy: Take My Picture is a selection of some 50 black and white and color photographs from this rich document of 1980s Black gay Chicago. McCoy’s subjects are neither posed nor directed; each has agency over how he is seen, elevating the subject’s humanity, inverting and subverting the gaze. HIV/AIDS hit Black men especially hard. Thousands would die before the end of the decade, including many of McCoy’s friends, lovers—and subjects. Take My Picture can be seen as a marker of place, time, and memory. It is an altar to those lost.
The exhibition is curated by Juarez Hawkins, artist, educator, and curator, who noted, “McCoy and his camera fulfilled an unspoken need for Black men to be seen. Seen by someone who did not objectify them as ‘Other’, but an insider who allowed them, to paraphrase Langston Hughes, to be their ‘beautiful black selves’.”
Shahidul Alam: Singed But Not Burnt
“As journalists, we need to feel the heat, stand close to the fire, and risk being burnt. Take one step back, you become ineffective. The trick, therefore, is to get singed but not burnt.” – Shahidul Alam
Shahidul Alam: Singed But Not Burnt surveys the four-decade career of the renowned Bangladeshi photographer, writer, activist, and former Time magazine Person of the Year, as he documents the consequences of catastrophic weather, repressive regimes, and political upheaval in his home country. Through select projects and more than 80 searing photographs, Singed But Not Burnt showcases art, education, and institution building as forms of resistance. Using the photographic image, Alam illuminates discrepancies in everyday life, from early attempts to oppose military rule to autocratic rulers. At a time of rising autocracy, and with freedom of expression under threat worldwide, this exhibition sheds light on the resilience of those who continue to resist.
Singed But Not Burnt draws on an exhibition currently touring in India which was first organized by curator and art writer Ina Puri. As an award-winning documentarian, she has chronicled the lives of India’s most distinguished art practitioners.
These exhibitions are presented by Alphawood Exhibitions at Wrightwood 659.
New Hours of Operation
Thursdays 1-8 pm; Fridays 12 noon-7 pm; Saturdays 10 am-5 pm
Admission for all three exhibitions is $15 and available online only at https://tickets.wrightwood659.org/events. Please note, admission is by advance ticket only. Walk-ups are not permitted.
COVID NOTE: All guests are required to be fully vaccinated and boosted against COVID-19. By entering Wrightwood 659, you warrant to us that you are fully vaccinated and boosted against COVID-19. We reserve the right to ask guests to produce evidence of their vaccination. Masks are required throughout the gallery. https://wrightwood659.org/terms-and-conditions/health-safety/
About Alphawood Exhibitions
Alphawood Exhibitions is an affiliate of Alphawood Foundation, a Chicago-based, grant-making private foundation working for an equitable, just, and humane society.
About Wrightwood 659
Founded in 2018, Wrightwood 659 is a private, non-collecting institution devoted to socially engaged art and architecture. Wrightwood 659 was designed by Pritzker Prize-winning architect Tadao Ando, who transformed a 1920s residential building with his signature concrete forms and poetic treatment of natural light. Located in Chicago’s Lincoln Park neighborhood and acclaimed as “a hidden treasure,” Wrightwood 659’s expansive and light-filled galleries offer both intimate and monumental experiences as visitors engage with the pressing issues of our time. Exhibitions are presented by Alphawood Exhibitions at Wrightwood 659. For additional information: https://wrightwood659.org.
Kongkee – London-based artist & Abby Chen, Curator and Head of Contemporary Art, Asian Art Museum of San Francisco, of Kongkee: Warring States Cyberpunk, an immersive futurist fantasy combining ancient poetry and modern anime.
Shahidul Alam – Bangladesh-based photographer, writer, a Time magazine Person of the Year in 2018, and artist of Shahidul Alam: Singed But Not Burnt, a retrospective of the renowned photojournalist and human-rights activist.
Patric McCoy – Artist and Chicago resident & Juarez Hawkins, Curator, artist, and educator, for Patric McCoy: Take My Picture, an exhibition of poignant images of 1980s Black gay Chicago.
INFO: This trio of Spring/Summer exhibitions is presented by Alphawood Exhibitions and are on view from April 14 through July 15, 2023. Read more: www.wrightwood659.org/exhibitions
Installation view of Kongkee: Warring States Cyberpunk, 2022 © Asian Art Museum
Kongkee headshot photo credit: Art Director: Kongkee@penguinlab/Fashion Director: Mayao & Yoyo Kwan @Fameglory/
Photographer: Jason@chanaphotostudio/Venue Sponsor: Seyami Studio/Sponsors: First Initiative Foundation@fif.hk, Leo & Xaviour@Number 2 Ltd
Alam headshot photo credit: Rahnuma Ahmed
McCoy headshot photo credit: Isadore Howard