The AARC’s Community Art Exhibit Program displays artworks year round that celebrate the diverse and dynamic cultural heritage, history, identity and creativity of Asian American Pacific Islanders. Exhibits are displayed on a quarterly schedule.
Let the Colors Speak - On Display January 18, 2019 - March 30, 2019
Supriya Kharod and Rashmi Thakur | AARC Foyer and Ballroom
The artists — both born in India, both proud Austinites now — document their individual journeys through their watercolor and acrylic paintings. Opening Exhibit Reception: January 18, 2019 at 6pm. Click here to learn more.
Hanji Korean Paper Dolls
Pun H Kim | AARC Foyer
Born in Seoul, Korea, artist Pun H Kim graduated from Seoul National University majoring in Commercial Art. She continued her studies at the University of Houston before working at an ad agency and oil tool company as a designer. Pun H Kim retired in 1992 and moved to Austin. Here she has perused her interest in Korean Paper Doll making and has perfected the art of working with Hanji paper.
Hanji is made by hand from the bark of paper mulberry, a tree native to Korea that grows well on its rocky mountainsides and consists of bast fibers. The addition of lye improves the strength of the paper and its preservability. Modern paper is estimated to have a lifetime of 200 years whereas Hanji paper will survive more than 1,000 years.
Zen Garden | Semi-Permanent Art Installation
Prayer Phone, a handmade altar with a disconnected phone, is an invitation to the public to “call” their deceased loved ones while giving offerings and prayers. This project reflects a common custom of many Asian traditions: commemorating ancestors and venerating the spirit world.
Two essential elements compose this installation. The old fashioned phone is a symbolic artifact that represents humanity’s desire to connect and communicate with others. Its historic form evokes passage of time. By contrast, the spiritual act of lighting incense symbolizes the following: sacredness when the element of air is ignited, purification of the environment’s energy, and blessings in return for offerings. These two elements combine to help connect the earthly to the heavens.
This project is inspired by an episode of This American Life featuring stories about Telephone of the Wind in Otsuchi Town, a small seaside town in northeastern Japan. An iconic English telephone phone booth connected to nowhere was repurposed, and people began “calling” family members lost during the tsunami caused by the 2011 Great Japan Earthquake. Telephone of the Wind became a public space for people to grieve for their lost loved ones. In response, Prayer Phone shares in the deep tradition of respecting spirits and coexisting with entities beyond the physical realm, as well as providing a physical space and an outlet to feel connected with the departed.