State of Play

April 28 – May 20, 2023
THAT Studio
56 Bogart
Brooklyn, NY 11206
To play is to create joy with the resources at hand. It is an inherent need in every childhood and a space we remind ourselves to go back to as we grow older. Through play, constraints become building blocks in constructing new worlds, rewriting rules, and an invitation for others to participate. It is, in its essence, the root of creativity. In the State of Play, twelve artists are asked to respond to the notion of play through the lens of their practice. For some, such as Wendy Park, Melissa Joseph, and Dominique Fung, it is an investigation into their earliest memories of play. For Park, that came in the form of finding items to play with at her parents’ Los Angeles swap meet – scattered markers, post-it notes, and a Goosebumps book. For Joseph, they are the dolls of her nieces; a reflection of a more diverse place space than the one she grew up with. Fung roots into the most elemental forms of play in unleashing the unconscious mind and a remembrance of a childhood where there was limitless time to dream and observe the natural world.
For Huidi Xiang and Anna Park, the act of playing with form becomes its own work. Through Xiang’s ongoing project Playbour Objects, everyday toys (objects of play) and tools (objects of labor) are recontextualized to investigate renewed labor structures in late capitalism. Park’s form quite literally plays with the eye, reversing the role of the frame as the vehicle to serve what lies within by making the frame the painting against its simplified caricature. In the works by Miko Veldkamp, MJ Torrecampo, Zoe Blue M, Ji Woo Kim, Dylan Rose Rheingold, and Mike Lee recollection becomes a source of play, with personal and historical histories rendering new realities. Through their personal contexts, we come to understand how familial and cultural contexts shape our imaginations and lines of inquiry into the past and future.
In all, the results of play create an alchemy wherein each becomes a portal, as Peter Chan presents, and we are invited to experience multiple realities both real and imagined. Once traversed, we cannot help but end up in a space of collective joy at what each artist offers us.

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