FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
THE BORDER GALLERY
56 Bogart Street #122, BK, NY 11206
Hadar Kleiman, Jeannie Rhyu, and Xiong Wei
March 18 – April 15, 2023
Opening night March 18, from 7-9 pm
[New York] The Border Gallery is pleased to present “Surreal Dreamscape” a group exhibition featuring the work of Hadar Kleiman, Jeannie Rhyu, and Xiong Wei curated by Jamie Martinez.
The exhibition features works of art that evoke mystery and challenge our perception of reality, creating an immersive experience for the viewers through the eyes of three immigrant artists.
The artists in this exhibition present dreamscapes that showcase a myriad of seemingly disconnected objects often set within distorted landscapes where time and space are abstracted. The works of art become like windows into a world where memory and place are disassociated, and reality is presented in a fantastic and otherworldly way. Visitors can expect to be transported into a realm of the subconscious where the impossible becomes possible, and where the power of the imagination is free to roam.
Hadar Kleiman’s Neon Palm gives a new spin on the iconic symbol of palm trees, known for their association with luxury and relaxation. The piece features a turquoise resin island and stylized fronds resembling 1980s key chains, which are commonly associated with Southern California or Miami Beach. The shiny aluminum and backlighting add to the piece’s allure, drawing viewers into an idyllic vacation scene. The Palm Fountain strips away the romantic symbolism associated with palm trees and instead transforms them into a stout and handmade fountain. The elegant swaying stems and fronds are replaced by bulbous shapes, coated in glaze, and adorned with water gurgling audibly down their sides.
Jeannie Rhyu explores her emotional impressions of reality as she traces ancestral memories and reinterprets her cultural visual traditions. She paints inspired by history, folklore, rituals, fairy tales, and transcultural femininity, as well as the magic of memories. Rhyu also studies native plants, emblematic animals, and mythical creatures, and paints them into her visions, exploring the past while renewing a connection between humans, nature, and spirits. She merges the traditional and the contemporary to assemble colorful realms that float between surrealism, folklore, and dreams.
Xiong Wei‘s ceramics are a reflection of the burnt orange tiles he observes during his walks past the Lexington Ave 63rd St. station in New York City. The rectangular tiles, resembling fishnets, with their deep red hue, evoke feelings of oppression and suppression. In the Segment series, he uses ceramics to create abstract characters that represent human emotions and spiritual struggles. These symbolic images eliminate identity, focusing solely on the essence of the human experience. The geometric squares represent the human body adapting to its surroundings, while the curves symbolize our natural fluidity amidst external control. It’s as if the tiles and sculptures share an otherworldly connection, transcending time and space.
Hadar Kleiman works in various mediums and materials including terrazzo, ceramics, resin, found objects, and wood—creating diorama-like installations and sculptures. Her work explores the aesthetic of high and low within opulent consumerism, symbolism, and new-age culture.
By recontextualizing commonplace symbols in a gallery setting, her work questions the essence of an object and its iconography. It investigates the gap between symbolic registers and the true meaning of the thing itself. The work often walks the line between art and design.
Kleiman was born in Jerusalem and lives and works in Brooklyn, New York. She received her BFA from Bezalel Academy of Art and Design in Jerusalem (2013) and her MFA from the San Francisco Art Institute (2015). She has participated in various exhibitions and art fairs including UNTITLED (San Francisco), stArtup fair (San Francisco), Field Projects (New York), and Spring/Break Art Show (New York). Her work has been featured in Momus, KQED, and Dissolve Magazine.
Jeannie Rhyu is a Korean Canadian artist living and working in Queens, New York. She graduated from Columbia University in the City of New York. Her work has been exhibited internationally in shows in New York, Vancouver, Hong Kong, Seoul, Beijing, and London. Selected exhibitions include shows at Seefood Room (Hong Kong), Spring/Break Art Show (New York), Shin Gallery (New York), Field Projects and Tutu Gallery (New York), and Leroy Neiman Gallery (New York). She has given artist talks at Columbia University and for community-based organizations. Currently, Rhyu is working on a series of oil paintings exploring folklore, rituals, emotions, and ancestral memories.
Xiong Wei is a Chinese contemporary artist/sculptor based in Brooklyn/Jersey City. He is interested in the emotional bond and rational relationships among people, between the human body and objects’ bodies, and the role of humanity plays as one of the species in our nature.
Human beings are one species that seems to be dominant, but meanwhile only a tiny part of the biosphere. As a collective, humanity wields absolute power such as nuclear energy and genetic technology. But as individuals, we are fragile and vulnerable. Those people whose name was written in water, lost in the stream of history, crushed under the rolling wheels like rats and doves on every street of New York City.