Over the past decade Sara Jane Boyers has photographed 50 Chinatowns in the United States and Canada. The series began in San Francisco in 2001, home to the oldest Chinatown in America and the largest Chinese community outside of Asia. This initial examination awakened Boyers’ childhood memories of visiting the Los Angeles Chinatown near her father’s downtown office, and inspired her to begin a tour of Chinatowns across North America.
In Finding Chinatown, Boyer’s first solo exhibition at Craig Krull Gallery, her work explores the breadth of the Chinatowns that now range from historic to new strip malls serving the growing Asian population. Throughout, Boyers focuses on the detail of the everyday as she examines these portals into the American dream.
Her sensitive photographs convey the brightness of calligraphic signs, the steam of busy kitchens, and the silence of back alleys. Boyers remarks, “I am fascinated by the light, vibrance and history of the Chinatowns. The vitality of each living, changing community and the general welcoming nature of those who pass through inspire me always. What intrigues me most are the still moments, even in the oft-frenetic mist.”
Concurrently, the gallery will present exhibition of photographs by John Huggins entitled American Landscape. Known for his work in the Polaroid transfer process (the technique of transferring the emulsion from a Polaroid to another piece of paper), in this new series Huggins has enlarged original 4 x 5” transfers into 30 x 40” archival pigment prints. This expansion enhances the grain of the original photograph and the fiber of the paper, resulting in heavily textured images that suggest the quality of a tapestry. The amplified dimensions allow his work to encompass the grandeur of the American landscape, exploring iconic locales such as Niagra Falls, as well as emblematic themes like the American Flag and Baseball. A native of Southern California, Huggins is equally motivated by his personal history of place, as exemplified in his series of Malibu surfers.
Huggins was honored earlier this year with a retrospective at his alma mater, Hampshire College, which displayed works seen in this exhibition.
This exhibition runs July 30 – September 3, 2011
Artist reception on Saturday, July 30 4 – 6 pm
Craig Krull Gallery is located at Bergamot Station
2525 Michigan Avenue, Building B-3
Santa Monica, California 90404
Tel: (310) 828-6410 . Fax: (310) 828-7320
Tuesday – Friday, 10:00a.m. – 5:30p.m.
Saturday, 11a.m. – 5:30p.m.
By Jim McKinniss