For further information contact: Laurie Lazer 415 255 5971
Photography, solo show, Tân Khánh Cao “What kind of Man Would I Be”
Dates: October 14 – November 11, 2016
Reception; Friday, October 14, 2016
Time: 6pm – 8pm
Galley Hours: Wednesday through Saturday, 12-5pm and by appointment
Place: The luggage store gallery
Address: 1007 Market Street San Francisco CA 94103
Telephone: 415 255 5971
The luggage store is honored to present a solo photo exhibition by
Tân Khånh Cao WHAT KIND OF MAN WOULD I BE?
Tan has been developing this body of work for several years. The exhibition is the culmination of this work and exploration. with support from the San Francisco Art Commision/Cultural Equity program.
If I had been born a boy,
What would the world have taught me?
How would the world treat me?
How would I treat the world?
How would I wear my insecurity? My pride?
What would I do with my vulnerability, my fear, anger?
How would I have understood and expressed myself?
How would I have navigated the constraints and freedoms of “manhood”?
How would I love?
WHAT KIND OF MAN WOULD I BE? is a photo series of self portraits of myself as a man that investigates how the mask can bring truth closer to the surface. What we hide behind is informed by what we have to hide. As an artist, I am interested in the lives behind a face — a presence lived, dreamed, remembered, forgotten – and in the mask that obscures it. We most often mask to hide hurt, fear, and the soil of experiences those feelings grew from. If you look closely, the covering, rather than concealing, points out – the mask reveals. We understand that this is not to be acknowledged in society to the point we often don’t see it. It is symptomatic of the syndrome in “The Emperor’s New Clothes”. We all tacitly agree to this and expect it of one another. No one told us why while we were being taught to do this. We are conditioned into this collective cultural blindness so early that we rarely think to ask.
In many non-Western cultures, masks are spiritual or magical tools. Masks are used to get closer or connect to something outside of the self; to draw spirits or bring the rain; and to communicate with the divine. Here in the west we mask to get further away from each other and ourselves. We mask to contract rather than to expand. In the Man series, I do both. I expand and contract to illuminate. I rearrange myself to reveal. I am both Inside and Outside. My ‘disguise’ reconciles.
And then there’s the carnival. Step right up! Guess who’s behind door #7! The project is interactive. Using the title WHAT KIND OF MAN WOULD I BE? I disseminate the photos via blog, facebook, and email, inviting people to participate by speculating about who the person in the photograph is. Like making up a story about someone you see on the bus. No rules, anything goes.
If you would like to participate, please visit whatkindofman.wordpress.com
Tân Khånh Cao is an artist named after a village in Vietnam where the soil is red and a poet was born. Her poet was a father who had a daughter in San Francisco in 1972. She has exhibited work at The Luggage Store Annex, SOMArts, the Mission Cultural Center, and Oaklandish Gallery, co-curated a monthly performance event at The Luggage Store Gallery, performed in various capacities at Southern Exposure, Queen’s Nails Annex, City Lights Bookstore and the Exploratorium, and has done mural commissions for Modern Times Bookstore and Paisley Park Studios.
TÂN KHÅNH CAO is an artist named after a village in Vietnam where the soil is red and a poet was born. Her poet was a father who had a daughter in San Francisco in 1972. She has exhibited work at The Luggage Store Annex, SOMArts, the Mission Cultural Center, and Oaklandish Gallery, co-curated a monthly performance event at The Luggage Store Gallery, performed in various capacities at Southern Exposure, Queen’s Nails Annex, City Lights Bookstore and the Exploratorium, and has done mural commissions for Modern Times Bookstore and Paisley Park Studios.
THE LUGGAGE STORE is one of San Francisco’s leading non profit multidsciplinary arts organizations established in 1987 with three venues, in downtown SF: the luggage store, 1007 Market Street (upper and mid floor galleries), the luggage store annex (aka 509 Cultural Center) at 509 Ellis and the adjacent Tenderloin National Forest (aka Cohen Alley). The Luggage Store’s vital programs are designed to broaden social and aesthetic networks by encouraging the flow of images and ideas between different cultural and economic communities.
This exhibition is supported in part by the San Francisco Art Commission/Cultural Equity Program, Grants for the Arts of the Hotel Tax Fund, The National Endowment for the Arts and the California Arts Councl, the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts.