This month at Loakal Gallery, Nastia Voynovskaya and Eddie Colla curated, “Authoring Evolution,” which includes new works by Robert Bowen, Xiau-Fong Wee and Lauren YS. The three-person exhibition examines how elements once confined to the Science Fiction genre are becoming part of everyday reality, which creates an intriguing tension between the future and the myth that surrounds it that assuages that unknown, and the realization of the future, and the truth within that uncertainty eventually realized. Particularly stressed within the paintings and drawings in “Authoring Evolution” are human, animal, and machine hybridization and how this amalgamation, its limitations and liberations, speaks to the human condition in contemporary society’s increasingly tech-fueled society.
Each one of the Bay Area artists in this exhibition invites audiences to reflect upon how surrealism trangresses its domain into reality while responding to the theme of the human condition in a computerized world. Robert Bowen’s paintings illustrate animals and insects in a realist style crossbred with other animals, perilous weapons, and machinery within an abstract world that contain dynamic, shifting landscapes. Audiences are inticed, and yet must also question the allure of these animals’ super skills. Inspired by author Donna Haraway’s essay, “A Cyborg Manifesto,” Lauren YS depicts female protagonists in her paintings and drawings that are assertive digressions from traditional symbols of femininity. Her futuristic visions of womanhood include a meld of a human female beauty including long, flowing hair and voluptuous, fleshy bodies with computerized heads, the seat of the self and individuality. This may perhaps allude to Beauty’s universal appeal, but also the objectification of womens’ bodies. Xiau-Fong Wee’s paintings, set within Utopian settings, illustrate anthropomorphized nature spirits which emerge and beckon audiences to engage with them. Her paintings look both organically and geometrically arranged, which may examine the intersections not only of art and science, but humans and nature.
“Authoring Evolution” will be at Loakal Gallery through the month of December.