Raeleen Kao & Joanne Aono – Cut and Sown
February 26 – March 19, 2016
Opening Reception Friday, February 26th 6-9pm
Closing Reception and Artists’ Talk, Saturday, March 19th, 3-5pm
Firecat Projects 2124 North Damen Avenue, Chicago, Illinois 60647
Contact Stan Klein firstname.lastname@example.org, 773-342-5381, www.firecatprojects.org
Open Monday-Saturday 10-4pm and by appointment
Firecat Projects is pleased to present, “Cut and Sown,” an exhibition of new works by two Chicago artists, Raeleen Kao and Joanne Aono. United by a commitment to contextual detail, Kao and Aono reflect on distinctly different personal histories through meticulously rendered contemporary drawing techniques enhanced by minimalist color palettes and backgrounds.
Raeleen Kao’s beautifully unsettling graphite drawings are impressions of the body as an object vulnerable to physical and psychological trauma as a result of disease and subsequent treatment. This body of work entitled, “Show Me Where it Hurts,” is a reference to the use of dolls in medical settings where blank dolls act as a communication tool for children to indicate the location of pain or discomfort. Kao’s ghostly depictions of dresses disfigured by scars, stitches, and biopsy sites document her experiences from infancy through adulthood which are dominated by hospital gowns and surgical beds.
Joanne Aono’s drawings examine dualities emanating from her experiences as an identical twin in relation to the world. Research and writing provide a foundation of obscured text for her quiet, layered imagery. On exhibition are selections from her “Green Fields” series, a translation of Aono’s last name and “Home Fields” in reference to immigrants like her grandparents, who planted vegetable seeds native to their birthplace; simultaneously growing comfort food while diversifying their new homeland. This series uses her process of manipulating drawing utensils like Hashi (chopsticks), as a conceptual means to express the duality of immigrants seeking both assimilation and identity.
Raeleen Kao is a hermetic corpse, aspiring gattara, and amateur competitive eater AKA glutton. Her spirit animal is a black pangolin of plague and pestilence.
Her work has been exhibited in museums and galleries across the country most notably at the International Museum of Surgical Science, the Monmouth Museum of Art, Bert Green Fine Art, and Packer Schopf Gallery, and has been represented at SELECT Fair New York, the Editions and Artist Books Fair in New York, the Cleveland Fine Print Fair, and the LA Art Fair. In 2012, she was awarded a fellowship to attend Vermont Studio Center and in 2013 won the second place cash prize at the 23rd Parkside National Small Print Exhibition. Her work has been published in four volumes of Art In Print and featured in Printed Editions: Online catalog of the Print World.
Joanne Aono’s solo and two person exhibitions include Images Gallery, Lee Dulgar, South Shore Arts, and Eyeporium Galleries; as well as group shows at the Illinois State Museums, Rockford Art Museum, Art Chicago International, and the Evanston, Riverside, and Beverly Art Centers. She has received City of Chicago Arts grants and a fellowship residency at the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts. Her art has been reviewed in publications such as Hyperallergic, ArtLetter, Northwest Indiana Times, and the Huffington Post. She maintains studios in Chicago and on a farm in North Central Illinois. In addition, she runs the alternative art project, Cultivator – Chicago art exhibitions & farm art projects.