Professor Sharmistha Ray co-curated, with Xinan Helen Ran, the exhibition “elsewhere, within here” at the Schafler Gallery at Pratt Institute. The exhibition is on view August 1 through September 30.
The exhibition consists of Pratt School of Art students who identify with Asian, Pacific Islander, South Asian, Southeast Asian, or Asian American identities, experiences, regions, or diasporas. School of Art associate degree students, undergraduate and graduate students, and members of the graduating class of 2023 who met these criteria were encouraged to submit their work for consideration. The resulting exhibition, “elsewhere, within here,” celebrates the accomplishments of a diverse group of students and poses questions about the formation of cultural identity. The students in the exhibition have connections to countries including China, Guam, India, Japan, Korea, the Philippines, and Singapore. Their work involves painting, installation, photography, video, illustration, and sculpture.
In selecting work for this year’s exhibition, the curators were inspired by the filmmaker and theorist Trinh T. Minh-ha’s perspective on identity—how geography intersects with lived experiences and embodied histories. As their curatorial statement explains, “The purpose of this group exhibition is to present a perspective on identity that goes beyond political labels and focuses on individual narratives. In other words, we aim to explore how we define ourselves rather than how we are perceived.”