The group show “inherit” brings together 6 artists whose works interrogate how, where and to whom memories, traditions and traumas are passed on. Myths such as the Monkey King (Sun Wukong) are queered and reimagined in Jia Sung’s work as she prods the centuries-old oral histories she grew up with. Collective memories are similarly mined in Pacifico Silano’s practice of studying queer archival media. Silano’s own experience of losing his uncle to complications relating to AIDS and the subsequent erasure his family attempted suggests voids are equally potent legacies. This liminal space between the personal and the collective is further explored by Joeun Aatchim as she relates her intimacy with her mother and the surpassing traumas of comfort women based on testimonial drawings by Maria Rosa Henson (also known as Lola Rosa). This desire to reconcile the present moment with the untouchable past is present in Hong-An Truong’s works in the exhibition as well. Her video draws from the life of Iris Chang and her book, “The Rape of Nanking” in order to imagine an impregnable future where the meaning of an apology can be full.
In many of the works in the show, a diasporic dimension takes hold. Erick A. Hernandez’s memories of his migration as a child from Cuba to America manifest themselves as fragmentary, discombobulated figures in his paintings. While Ka-Man Tse documents the devotional nature of labor in the mom and pop Chinese restaurants of New York where families are continuously working together to re-define what is “chineseness”. Essentialism gives way to a more sobering yet loving kind of family unit, always in flux yet never far from the imagined space of home.