Through April 22: "Dear John " Installation by Christopher K. Ho '92 in the Tremaine Art Gallery


Christopher K. Ho '92: Dear John

February 25 - April 22, 2017

Regular gallery hours: Mon. - Sat. 10 - 4; Sun. 12 - 4.

The Tremaine Art Gallery is pleased to present Dear John, a new room-sized installation by Christopher K. Ho '92. Ho is known for picking up the threads of 1990s identity politics and weaving them into unlikely new patterns. His previous bodies of work have explored the political potential of "art dads"—artists who are also fathers—and the aesthetic sensibility of art school students, many white and privileged, who came of age during the Clinton era.

Here, the artist returns to his high school alma mater, and turns to love. How might first love and first heartbreak intersect with politics? An expansive carpet that chromatically recalls a digital background gradient fills over half the gallery, punctuated by an undulating pattern of silhouetted heart emoji. The nature of digital space—its absence of gravity, sun, horizon, or any reference point—is, for the artist, analogous to the experience of falling in, and perhaps out of, love. This question tantalizes: Can social media reshape what was once merely personal into that which is socially transformative?

The exhibition's title is a metonym for a break-up letter, and references proliferate. A code in the carpet based on punched card notation, precursor to today's computer languages, spells out "D-E-A-R J-O-H-N W-I-T-H L-O-V-E." A 3D printed figurine entranced by an iPhone misses the gaze of a young man, whose face, laser engraved into glass blocks, emerges when seen from a particular vantage. A cluster of additional glass blocks, spotlighted with a heart, are surface-etched with the brambles from the pre-Raphaelite painter John Everett Millais' Ophelia.

Workbook, a 134-page binder comprised of working drawings accompanies the exhibition.

Christopher K. Ho '92

Christopher K. Ho '92 was born in 1974 in Hong Kong and lives and works in New York. He has had solo shows at Present Co., Y Gallery, and Forever & Today (all New York), and at FJORD in Philadelphia and Galeria EDS in Mexico City. The New York Times, Art in America, Modern Painters, Artforum, LEAP, Hyperallergic, RanDian, and ArtReview have reviewed his work. He participated in the Incheon Biennial, the Chinese Biennial Beijing, and the Busan Biennale, and produced site-specific pieces for Storm King, the Queens Museum, and, forthcoming, the Bronx Museum of the Arts. Since 2000 he has been on the faculty at the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD). He received his BFA and BS from Cornell and his MPhil from Columbia.

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The Tremaine Art Gallery

The Tremaine Art Gallery is a museum-caliber gallery located in the main building of The Hotchkiss School. With education at the heart of its mission, the gallery hosts six exhibitions a year. For more information about this and other events at The Hotchkiss School, phone 860.435.4423 or visit The Tremaine Gallery is open Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Sunday, noon to 4 p.m.

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