header image

[Sign Up Now] to Receive Our FREE Daily SCVTV-SCVNews Digest by E-Mail

Inside
Weather
Santa Clarita CA
Mostly cloudy
Mostly cloudy
58°F
 
Calendar
Today in
S.C.V. History
March 6
1772 - Spanish Capt. Pedro Fages arrives; camps at Agua Dulce, Castaic, Lake Elizabeth, Lebec, Tejon [story]
Pedro Fages


| Monday, Dec 17, 2018
'All Eyes On Me' by Jaya Kang (CalArts Art BFA 20). | Photo by Rafael Hernandez.
'All Eyes On Me' by Jaya Kang (CalArts Art BFA 20). | Photo by Rafael Hernandez.

 

The inspiration for “All Eyes On Me,” Jaya Kang’s (CalArts Art BFA 20) recent third-year mid-residency show at CalArts, was a collection of craft kit “googly eyes.”

Imbued with humor, Kang’s installation consisted of three parts: video art, sculptures and an Instagram-inspired “oasis” filled with colorful, eye-catching objects.

After the show, CalArts’ 24700 blog had a chance to chat with Kang about her work.

24700: Tell us a little more about “All Eyes On Me”…
Kang: When you walked in, the show was divided into three parts, but it had an overlying theme that spoke about making art for the other. I was thinking about three specific external influences or pressures in my life: a financial pressure; a pressure from my culture and family; and institutional pressures.

Having chosen to invest in my education, I felt the financial pressure generating this fear that I needed to mold my art a certain way to find success and make that investment back. And then there’s the pressure from my family, who are very supportive of me pursuing art, but they have an expectation that art ought to look a certain way. I do a lot of performative and video art that doesn’t reflect their view of traditional fine art, so I feel this other pressure to prove myself to my family.

Jaya Kang (Art BFA 20) | Photo: CalArts.

At CalArts, I found myself at odds with the idea of “pure art” or making work in a headspace that is entirely removed from these aforementioned external influences. Most of the examples of the artists making pure art are people who are not dealing with the circumstances influencing me like being an immigrant, a woman and a person of color. I’m still trying to deal with these things even on a basic level, trying to figure out how to stay in this country after I graduate.

24700 blog: Is social media something you were thinking about too while making All Eyes On Me?
Kang: Definitely. I was thinking about social media and popular art. I wanted to adopt a specific Instagram aesthetic to lure people into the installation, and then after the initial attraction have them confront other things and go deeper. I wanted to play off of that sense of escape that is built into commercial attractiveness and make something that could be photographed easily like the pink wall and the neon ‘paradise’ sign. I really enjoy making videos and sculptures that aren’t necessarily aesthetically pleasing, so it was almost like trying to balance that out by bringing this photographable element to the installation.

One element of 'All Eyes On Me' was inspired by spaces designed for social media. | Photo: CalArts.

One element of ‘All Eyes On Me’ was inspired by spaces designed for social media. | Photo: CalArts.

My references were mainly Instagrammable places like the Museum of Selfies, the Ice Cream Museum and 29Rooms. But instead of entirely dismissing the kind of artificial construction that takes place on social media, I started to look at how it could be a result of people feeling different external pressures.

24700: Tell us more about the googly eyes.
Kang: The googly eyes were definitely the initial inspiration for the exhibition. Two years ago, I bought a bunch of googly eyes in response to feeling like there were a lot of external pressures influencing me. The theme came out of this frustration I was trying to deal with.

I went to [an L.A. museum] and started putting googly eyes on sculptures. As a kind of satire, I started recording videos of me standing in front of the sculptures talking about each piece like it was my artwork. I was thinking about who has the right to claim artworks and claim the other, as well as who can claim my artwork. So the googly eyes became representative of this other.

I did another video like this at LACMA where I dressed up like an explorer, who’s visiting from the future, walking through the museum fictionalizing the meaning of different artworks. That came from my desire to try to flip the script on how western forces and colonial powers have written history. For example, growing up in India, a lot of my textbooks were written by British colonials.

Kang wrote title cards for each sculpture encouraging people to interact with the art. | Photo: CalArts.

Kang wrote title cards for each sculpture encouraging people to interact with the art. | Photo: CalArts.

With the googly eye sculptures in my installation I wanted to make something that would immediately dispel the feeling of intimidation that is often associated with art galleries. Each sculpture had a title, which were ‘I made this one,’ ‘I made this one too,’ ‘I made this one also’ and ‘I made this one as well.’ Along with the names and material list it had an instruction at the bottom stating things like ‘You can touch it if you want, don’t worry if the eyes fall off, I have more’ and ‘Feel the head, the texture is really satisfying,’ ‘Shake the head, its like a musical instrument’ and ‘Find a partner and play catch with it, haha jk. you break it you buy it.’

Art makes me want to interact with it and be a part of it in some ways, so I wanted to allow the viewer to be able to do that with these sculptures. Its tactile nature and the sounds it created were very important. It was interesting to see that even though I had those title cards many still didn’t believe that they could touch them since they were placed on very traditional pedestals with intense lighting. Also, I was running around the [museum] touching other people’s art so its only fair I let others touch mine. It would be hypocritical of me not to let them!

24700 blog: What artists inspired you while making this work?
Kang: I had an Independent Study with School of Art faculty Audrey Chan and she encouraged me to look at Adrian Piper’s work because she uses text in a really funny and confrontational way. I started to look at her work to figure out how to use direct text to speak about cultural identity.

24700 blog: What has your experience at CalArts been like?
Kang: I feel like every day is a personality building day for me because CalArts is such a characteristic place with its own set of values. I’m challenged to have to confront these values and see where I stand between them. These are very formative years, a time where I’ve stepped out of my comfort zone and for the first time I’m forming an identity outside of my family and the society I was raised in.

By Elizabeth Liang

Comment On This Story
COMMENT POLICY: We welcome comments from individuals and businesses. All comments are moderated. Comments are subject to rejection if they are vulgar, combative, or in poor taste.
REAL NAMES ONLY: All posters must use their real individual or business name. This applies equally to Twitter account holders who use a nickname.

0 Comments

You can be the first one to leave a comment.

Leave a Comment


ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT LINKS
ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT NEWS
Friday, Mar 5, 2021
The SCV Adventure Play Foundation is set to host its virtual Spring Thing Fling fundraiser on the first day of spring, Saturday, March 20.
Thursday, Mar 4, 2021
College of the Canyons proudly welcomes composer/lyricist, conductor, pianist and music producer Georgia Stitt to the School of Visual & Performing Arts’ Virtual Industry Insight Series on Wednesday, March 10.
Thursday, Mar 4, 2021
It’s not how far you go…it’s what happens along the way! The Incredible Chase, the city of Santa Clarita’s socially distanced take on the hit CBS show “The Amazing Race,” is a brand-new competition taking place in May 2021.
Thursday, Mar 4, 2021
Ken Farley, W. M. Keck Foundation professor of Geochemistry, Division of Geological and Planetary Sciences and the project scientist for the Mars 2020 mission, continues the 2020–2021 Watson Lecture season with a talk about, “Perseverance on Mars," Wednesday, March 10, at 5:00 p.m., via Zoom.
Thursday, Mar 4, 2021
Los Angeles County Library is partnering with Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) to bring virtual arts programs to our communities, featuring LACMA teaching artists and staff.
Latest Additions to SCVNews.com
1772 - Spanish Capt. Pedro Fages arrives; camps at Agua Dulce, Castaic, Lake Elizabeth, Lebec, Tejon [story]
Pedro Fages
Following months of renovations and preparation for a grand reopening, the city of Santa Clarita-owned ice rink has a new name and brand, The Cube - Ice and Entertainment Center.
City Reveals New Name of City-Owned Ice Rink
Los Angeles County Public Health officials on Friday confirmed 144 new deaths and 2,110 new cases of COVID-19 countywide, with 26,403 total cases in the Santa Clarita Valley.
Friday COVID-19 Roundup: Vaccine Allocation to Increase Next Week; SCV Cases Total 26,403
On Friday, the California Department of Public Health released updates to the state’s Blueprint for a Safer Economy reopening framework focused on activities that can be conducted outdoors with consistent masking which will take effect April 1.
State Updates Blueprint, Outdoor Activities and Theme Parks Set to Reopen
The Newhall School District announced Friday the implementation of the first Junior Kindergarten program in the Santa Clarita Valley which will offer students who turn five years old between July 1 and Sept. 1 the opportunity to enroll in school and enjoy the benefits that both Transitional Kindergarten (TK) and Traditional Kindergarten currently provide.
Newhall School District Announces First Junior Kindergarten Program in SCV
The SCV Adventure Play Foundation is set to host its virtual Spring Thing Fling fundraiser on the first day of spring, Saturday, March 20.
SCV Adventure Play Foundation to Host Virtual Spring Thing Fling Fundraiser
Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Missing Persons Unit investigators are asking for the public’s help locating Missing Person Debbie Phipps.
LASD Investigators Seek Help Locating Missing Person Last Seen In Canyon Country
Rep. Mike Garcia, R-Santa Clarita, has sponsored a new bill that would prohibit the use of federal funds to pay for California’s high-speed rail project, a section of which could run along Highway 14 in the Santa Clarita Valley.
Garcia Sponsors Bill to Defund CA’s High-Speed Rail Project
Santa Clarita City Council members are set to discuss in a closed session Tuesday their ongoing legal battle with property owner Canyon View Limited over the 2.5 acres of solar panels on a Canyon Country hillside.
City Council to Reconvene Over Solar Panel Litigation
1864 - L.A. Star newspaper report: County supervisors have accepted Beale's Cut as complete [story]
Beale's Cut
College of the Canyons proudly welcomes composer/lyricist, conductor, pianist and music producer Georgia Stitt to the School of Visual & Performing Arts’ Virtual Industry Insight Series on Wednesday, March 10.
Broadway Maestra Georgia Stitt to Speak at COC’s Virtual Insight Series
Valencia-based Lundgren Management was honored to be selected by the El Camino Community College District as one of three firms providing on-going construction management services for the next five years.
Valencia-Based Lundgren Management Inks 5-Year Deal with El Camino Community College District
It’s not how far you go…it’s what happens along the way! The Incredible Chase, the city of Santa Clarita’s socially distanced take on the hit CBS show “The Amazing Race,” is a brand-new competition taking place in May 2021.
City Looking for Teams to Compete in ‘The Incredible Chase’
The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health confirmed Thursday 119 new deaths and 2,253 new cases of COVID-19, with 26,327 total cases in the Santa Clarita Valley.
Thursday COVID-19 Roundup: SCV Cases Total 26,327; Public Health Advises Against Non-Essential Travel
For a three-day period starting Tuesday, the William S. Hart Union High School District football players took their first COVID-19 tests as part of the requirements for them to begin full-contact play.
Hart District Football Players Begin COVID-19 Testing, Full-Contact Play
Ken Farley, W. M. Keck Foundation professor of Geochemistry, Division of Geological and Planetary Sciences and the project scientist for the Mars 2020 mission, continues the 2020–2021 Watson Lecture season with a talk about, “Perseverance on Mars," Wednesday, March 10, at 5:00 p.m., via Zoom.
Project Scientist for Mars Perseverance Continues Caltech’s Lecture Series
Los Angeles County Library is partnering with Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) to bring virtual arts programs to our communities, featuring LACMA teaching artists and staff.
L.A. County Library, LACMA Partner to Offer Virtual Arts Programs
Santa Clarita LLC, which owns the undeveloped 900-plus-acre Whittaker-Bermite site, recently filed for voluntary bankruptcy, and is working to sell it to a global industrial real estate company for possible commercial and residential development, officials said Wednesday.
Whittaker-Bermite Owner Files Bankruptcy, Selling Land
William S. Hart Union High School District governing board members Wednesday discussed a potential March 29 start date for junior high and high school in-person instruction, provided the number of L.A. County COVID-19 cases continues to decline.
Hart District Mulls Over Possible March 29 Return
The Santa Clarita Valley is now home to a new branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, following a recent vote from the association’s board of directors.
NAACP Branch Coming to Santa Clarita Valley
Because of the recent rainfall, Los Angeles County Health Officer, Muntu Davis, MD, MPH, is cautioning residents that bacteria, chemicals, debris, trash, and other public health hazards from city streets and mountain areas are likely to contaminate ocean waters at and around discharging storm drains, creeks, and rivers after a rainfall.
Water Advisory Issued for Los Angeles County Beaches
This week, State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond announced the kickoff for the “California Digital Divide Innovation Challenge,” a global competition that will award up to $1 million to the boldest, most revolutionary proposals to eliminate the digital divide and expand high-speed internet access to all Californians.
State Schools Chief Kicks Off ‘California Digital Divide Innovation Challenge’
1940 - NYC premiere of "The Marines Fly High" starring Lucille Ball, filmed in Placerita Canyon [story] Marines Fly High
Los Angeles County Public Health officials on Wednesday confirmed 116 new deaths and 1,759 new cases of COVID-19 countywide, as Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital in Valencia reported its 144th fatality since the pandemic began.
Wednesday COVID-19 Roundup: 144th Death at Henry Mayo; Decline in L.A. County Cases, Hospitalizations
%d bloggers like this: