■ ■展覽前言■ ■
One of the impacts of the covid-19 pandemic is the breaking of connections. A series of preventive measures, such as lockdown, quarantine, social distancing, and contactless delivery, have interrupted the various connections that are weaved the texture of our daily life. Due to this sudden interruption, however, we start to(re-)recognize the numerous connections that sustain our livelihood and everyday life. These connections are as complex and essential as urban infrastructure. We depend on them to survive and also participate in construction consciously or unconsciously. But, we often turn a blind eye to them as we take them for granted.
Janaè’s “Journey through the Indigo Sea” does not provide us with a definite answer to the above question but pointed out a feasible path for our reflections. “Connection” is the core concept of Janaè’s creations. In the first part of the exhibition, Janaè adopts water as the signifier to conceive the narrative ability of the works. As Janaè perceives, water not only creates different things but also connects them together. Water is natural yet also cultural. It is the “Stories of Connection”. By using two basic elements — plants for dyeing and cowrie shells for exchanging, Janaè’s work shows us how connections have been made across time and space between humans and nature and also between people. Meanwhile, as an artist who has actively engaged in public education and social work, Janaè’s “Stories of Connection” is not just for “seeing” or “listening” but more for the experience. Because stories of connection are not solitary or told by one party, they happen between us and between the individual and the surroundings. This constitutes the collaborative part between Janaè and local artists. If the first part of the “Journey through the Indigo Sea” is relatively certain, then the second part is the opposite, as both its creative motivations and purposes are heavily related to the local community. There fore, Janaè not only invites local artists to participate in the creation of the exhibition but also the audience to experience the generation of meaning by being in the exhibition.
– 吴玥涵 Wu Yuehan
■ ■Janaè Sumter的展览自述 ■ ■
Statement from Janaè Sumter
Stories of Connection: A Journey through the Indigo Sea
This exhibition is a representation of togetherness that connects everything with what already exists.Stories and Water are one in the same. Water and stories connect people together; both culturally and globally. Both can be viewed as containers that link every civilization as one. Water represents the idea of what it means to flow along our destined journey or path. We need water in order to survive, cleanse our spirit and care for the Earth. As people, we are made of 75-80 percent of water and even though we are made of water, we also need water to drink, cook, clean, and grow our produce. Water can be considered as a graceful entity. It is shallow, deep, emotional, intuitive, fluid, protective, abundant, constant and expresses the pure essence of Divine Feminine energy.With in water, we find many forms of life that exist, interconnect and used for currencies of exchange, like cowrie shells. The embodiment of water is abundant and very different based on its environment as well as setting. There are lakes, oceans, rivers and streams; some are large in quantity and others have particular tastes or smells based on the circumstances. This is similar to people, we are different based on our identity, environment, region and cultural understandings. We acquire taste, ideals, traditions and language in a multitude of ways, but we also derive from the same core place. This is what makes people extremely similar to water and nature as a whole.
Stories of Connection: A Journey Through the Indigo Sea is a manifested experience to ask and explore questions by beginning to understand the serendipity of the ways we receive our answers. As an artist and curator, this residency period created an opportunity to explore the possibilities of connection. Each artist, business owner, and community member shared themselves with me and held space for me to share myself as well.This exhibition is a combination of our energies, as one. Through that connection, this experience was actualized.
Special thank you to Together Coffee,Meaningless Vintage, Qing Hong bookstore, Small Bowl
■ ■ 藝術家介紹 ■ ■
Introduction to the Artist
Janaè Sumter ,Ta是生長在美國路易斯安那州新奧爾良的藝術家，也是中國的青年基礎藝術教育者、藝術故事講述者、社團編織者和能量醫師。Janaè採用很多創造性的治療方式工作，旨在為思想解放、知識共享、個人反思、代際聯繫和集體行動創造空間。Ta的實踐培育了一個多元融合的中間地帶作為相互學習、相互理解、彼此尊重的空間，這通過發辮、社群中心設施、反思性對話、表演劇場、草藥治療和易獲得的材料組合（例如天然染料和紙板）達成。
Janaè Sumter (they/them) is a New Orleans, LA, USA native and China based arts youth educator, artistic storyteller, community weaver and energy practitioner. Janae’ works with a multitude of creative healing modalities that curates intentional space for liberation, knowledge sharing, personal reflection, intergenerational connection and collective empowerment.Their practice cultivates a middle ground for integration that honors space for learning and understanding.This actualizes through hair braiding, community centered installations, reflective conversations, performance work, herbal remedies and material assemblages made with accessible materials like natural dyes and cardboard.
Janaè是Sweet Herbal Honey Apothecary LLC的創始人，經營以社團為主導的社交媒體平台和草藥業務，為新興的色彩社團提供中心療癒、個人覺悟、創意編程和社群支持。Ta同時也是在社群內熱情工作、幫助激發對於合作重要性的認知、經認證的創意生活指導師和靈氣治療醫師。Ta 受到過國家地理雜誌、甘蔗雜誌、休會藝術、Lichtundfire畫廊、視覺教具等雜誌的贊揚。
Janaè is the founder of Sweet Herbal Honey Apothecary LLC, a community-led social media platform and herbal business that centers healing, personal awareness, creative programming and community support for emerging communities of color. They are also a Certified Creative Life Coach and Reiki Practitioner who works passionately within their community to help inspire the importance of affirmed collaboration. They’ve been recognized by the National Geographic Magazine November 2019 Issue, Sugarcane Magazine, Recess Art, Lichtundfire Gallery, Visual Aids and more…
關於本次駐留︱About this Residency：
My residency plan is to explore concepts and actualizations of connection through intentionally curated space for using art to create understanding. Connection can be manifested through people, movement, research, material, history, reflection and communal depth through interaction and integration of culture.
This will present itself through material based installations, arts focused workshops with local youth and community activations. My overall exhibition will flourish as each person invites themselves into the curated space for interactive activities, meaningful conversations and youth creations that encourage intercultural togetherness.
以往作品介紹︱Introduction to Previous Works：
Legacies of the radically altared exhibtion, 2019
Thanks for the article translation: Yu Chuan Xingzi, Wu Yuehan
■ ■ 展覽信息 ■ ■
“Stories of Connection: A Journey through the Indigo Sea“, Solo Exhibition by American Artist Janaè Sumter
開幕時間 Opening Time：
展覽週期 Exhibiton Time：
2021.08.2 – 2021.08.12（10:00-18:00）
展覽地點 Exhibiton Location：
Chongqing ·Dimensions Art Center·Hall AW2 Space-Time Art of Cultural and Creative Park W2 of Huangjueping Zhengjie Large Fleet
駐留藝術家 Resident Artist：
藝術總監 Art Director：曾途 Zeng Tu
策展人 Curator：何京 He Jing
執行策展人 Executive Curators：
執行統籌 Coordinator：劉春利 Liu Chunli
紀錄片攝像 Documentary Videography：羅玲 Luo Ling、蔡寶賢 Bo Choy
現場拍攝 Photographer：胡克 Ben
十方藝術中心Dimensions Art Center(DAC),時空藝術Space Time Art
Address : Huangjueping GuanJiaLin 190, Jiulongpo, Chongqing, CN.