Exhibition Opening: "Attention" And "Near And Far"

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Exhibition Opening: "Attention" And "Near And Far"
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Minnesota Artists Exhibition Program says
We are excited to announce the opening of two exhibitions, featuring new works by Minnesota artists Pao Her and Shana Kaplow. Please join us for a public opening reception on Thursday, April 16, from 7 to 9 p.m.

Pao Her’s exhibition of new photographs, "Attention," focuses on the importance of military service to Hmong-American identity. In the 1960s, the CIA enlisted Hmong and Laotian soldiers to fight a secret war alongside the conflict in Vietnam, soldiers the United States still does not recognize as U.S. veterans despite their sacrifices on behalf of the U.S.. The men that Her has photographed, in the tradition of classical paintings of generals, are veterans of that war—excluded from subsidized health services, refused the right to be buried in national cemeteries, and disqualified from wearing U.S.–sanctioned military uniforms and medals.

Here, they stand proudly. These Hmong Army veterans have awarded one another medals based on their oral testimony. Her sees these portraits as neither advocacy nor criticism. The installation magnifies a particular effort in our common hope to be recognized.

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Though we connect with friends and family across the world by our voices, texts, and images, Shana Kaplow’s "Near and Far" explores the interconnectivity we share through our things. Kaplow focuses on the effects of mass-production to bring our attention to the common items that fill our homes, and asks whether a community can develop around the global reach of a shared commodity. Using ink on paper to depict contemporary furniture designs, Kaplow's techniques of abstraction and photorealism stress the tension of connecting with the unfamiliar.

Kaplow also uses video to find connections between cultures, nations, and physical architectures. As part of her 2010 Red Gate International Artists Residency, she traveled to Beijing and recorded Chinese commuters as they passed her in the subway or below her balcony. When covered by projections of Kaplow’s video footage, the gallery walls become windows, and we can see the world as connected by more than our furniture.

[Shana Kaplow is a fiscal year 2014 recipient of an Artist Initiative Grant from the MN State Arts Board. This activity is made possible by the voters of MN through a grant form the Minnesota State Arts Board, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund.]

Both exhibitions are on view from April 16 - June 7, 2015 in the MAEP Galleries
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By: Minnesota Artists Exhibition Program

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