Get ready for not one but three exciting new exhibitions opening this weekend as Thinkspace Projects celebrates Ermsy, “Took It Easy” and Lauren Hana Chai, “The Little Death”. Infused with the reinvention of classic cartoon characters and dreamlike figures laced with eerie vibrancy, these bodies of work cultivate an arresting sense of wonder and intrigue.
Thinkspace Projects also shares with us their “Mother Earth: We Are All One” group exhibition in which a portion of the proceeds will be donated to Born Free USA as well as to the NAACP in the name of Ahmaud Arbery.
Thinkspace Projects has a full schedule of online events for all exhibitions, including virtual tours, live streaming, interviews and much more… so be sure to follow their blog Sour Harvest to stay updated! If you’re looking to add to your budding collection of art, take a moment and visit their store to view available inventory.
Ermsy, Lauren Hana Chai & Mother Earth: We Are All One
Exhibition Dates: June 27 – July 18, 2020
Online Schedule of Virtual Events:
Saturday, June 27 at 12:00 noon pacific time Thinkspace Projects will post their professionally shot video tour via Instagram TV.
Saturday, June 27 from 1-2PM pacific time, live Instagram to tour their new exhibitions.
Sunday, June 28 at 2pm pacific time,full set of installation photos via their Facebook and blog.
Monday, June 29 at 4pm pacific time, self-guided virtual tour on all of the Thinkspace Projects social networks. Plus look for their interview with Ermsy on their blog.
6009 Washington Blvd. | Culver City, CA 90232
Ermsy, “Took It Easy”
English, Paris-based illustrator and artist Ermsy takes the popular cartoons of his childhood and reimagines them as irreverent appropriations. Fascinated by American pop culture as a readily accessible, visual vernacular, Ermsy’s take on its beloved illustrated characters is both satirical and participatory. These adult-themed bastardizations of Garfield, Loony Tunes, The Simpsons, and the like, are simultaneously elated and anarchic in their absurd display of debauchery like tendencies.
Using familiar characters provides Ermsy with a set of pre-established imaginative boundaries within which to work. Like a hot-boxed descent into an alternate universe of nostalgic psychotropic Saturday morning cartoons, his world is a playful subversion of familiar, pop cultural fodder.
“I love pop culture,” Ermsy explains, “and I love exploring it.” His graphic exploration of pop culture uses popular cartoons in the same way that graffiti writers use letters. “Using well-known characters provides me with a base point, a frame to work within,” he explains. “With graffiti, the idea is to pick some letters from the alphabet, then go crazy with them or do whatever you want. Everybody starts with the same base point, and that’s graffiti. My starting point is to use characters in my artwork.”
Lauren Hana Chai, “The Little Death”
Lauren Hana Chai was born and raised in Honolulu, Hawaii being the first of her family to be born in the United States. Raised by her grandparents who are from South Korea, she grew up with dual cultures: Very traditional with a Korean lifestyle at home, while at the same time being immersed in the western world outside. In 2010, Lauren moved to San Francisco to attend the Academy of Art University and graduated in 2015 with her BFA in painting.
Lauren uses unconventional mediums with mixed media as well as working with her first love, oils. The mixed media brings together different elements which is a reflection of her identity. She paints issues such as taboo, the Korean cultural trait han, history, the clash of traditional and modern, east and west, and the struggle for balance in between.
“The Little Death” is a play between sex and death, the desire to live forever but also the inevitable return of our bodies to nature. I was raised by my grandparents and as they are now near death, they talk about leaving this world all the time. When I think about their death, I think about the entirety of their lives, how they lived it, what actions and decisions they did or did not make. I also see their different emotional reactions to it, my grandma: ready to face death and leave this earth, my grandpa: absolutely terrified but does not want to admit it. I reflect on how I want to live my life and how I want to face death in the end through this series with most of my models being people I know or myself. The different stages of decomposition of the bodies are portrayed as an abstract beautiful mess rather than something to be disgusted or fearful of. The symbols I paint frequently, such as the Korean peach and sacred fungus, are tied to symbols of longevity in Korean classical folk paintings. Back then, these paintings were accessible only to the high class but I paint these symbols today for everyone to enjoy, and I truly feel that I am giving my blessings to the person I am painting. More than just an image, it is an energy. The sacred fungus in particular was highly sought after and emperors would send out troops to look for it in the Korean mountains. It was truly believed to give one eternal youth. Today we take psychedelics as a way to transcend our shared human fate. Procreating is also a temporary transcendence of death and ultimately transcending it in the future as well by passing on DNA. I would be lying if I said I wasn’t afraid of death, but there is an invisible thread that links us to our past and connects us to our fellow humans and the rest of nature. This thought alone helps me see my little death as a part of the bigger universe and I feel a little less scared.
We’re proud to share that our family of creatives are coming together for a very special group show, that will help shine a light on topics currently at the forefront of everyone’s thoughts.
“Mother Earth: We Are All One” will bring together 50+ artists, all of whom have been asked to work within the same space confines of 12×12 inches (30×30 cm) and to take into consideration the general state of our Mother Earth and how much we have scarred her for our own gain and how many specifies of animals have gone extinct due to our constant advancement and taking over of lands near and far. We’ve asked them all to also consider how the current pandemic has so clearly illustrated that we are all in this together, and when we work together as one, anything is possible. To single out any one person due to their race, religion or sexual orientation is an archaic way of thinking that needs to be abolished. Fundamentalist extremism has been rearing its ugly head all around the world over the last couple years, and it needs to be stopped.
A portion of the proceeds from this special exhibition will be donated to our longtime partners at Born Free USA to help them in their goals of ensuring that all wild animals, whether living in captivity or in the wild, are treated with compassion and respect and are able to live their lives according to their needs.
A portion of the proceeds will also be donated to the NAACP in the name of Ahmaud Arbery.
View the full line-up of artists via Thinkspace Projects.