Nanea Lum debuts new work at NADA New York (May 5–8, 2022)

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Nanea Lum
Curated by Jon Santos of Ontopo
NADA New York, Pier 36, 299 South Street
Booth P12
May 5–8, 2022

Ulu Kupu Film Screening: Saturday, May 7, 4–5pm, NADA Presents area at the fair.

FIlm stills from Ulu Kupu, 2022. Directed by Tiare Ribeaux and Jody Stillwater. Written by Tiare Ribeaux, Jody Stillwater, and Nanea Lum. Director of Photography: Jody Stillwater

Ontopo is pleased to present a body of new work by Native Hawaiian artist Nanea Lum at NADA that turns to the earth as natural pedagogical space and artistic medium. Drawing on methods of mapping, Lum created a series of paintings achieved through ceremonial interaction with the water system of Mānoa. To begin, Lum first makes kapa, a Hawaiian cloth made from local Wauke tree bark. The resulting "earth paintings" document a ritual experience that expresses gratitude for nature's participation in the artwork and emphasizes the connection to ‘āina, or the Native conception of all living forces and features of the natural world that sustain life.

Tiare Ribeaux and Jody Stillwater directed the film Ulu Kupu (2022) that records Lum's esoteric process on the restricted site of Mānoa. The film will be screened at NADA on Saturday, May 7, 4–5pm, followed by a Q&A with Lum.

Taken together, Lum's works emphasize the importance of centering Indigenous forms of knowledge and folding it into contemporary art practice. What does material responsibility coupled with aesthetic pleasure look like? In the wake of environmental catastrophes like climate change and the Red Hill water crisis, in which fuel from a U.S. Navy storage facility contaminated Hawai'i's primary drinking source, themes in Lum's work become ever urgent.

"I have taken the artist studio outside, into my actual communities that I represent," says Lum.

Nanea Lum (b. 1991) is based in Honolulu, Hawai'i, and her booth at NADA constitutes her debut in New York. She earned her MFA from the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa and is currently the artist in residence at Single Double. She is active coordinating director of GRRIC Contemporary at the Art Building at University of Hawai'i Mānoa. Her work has shown at institutions such as Hawai'i State Art Museum, Mission House Museum, Aupuni Space, and elsewhere.

The booth is curated by Jon Santos (b. 1973), Filipino American artist and founder of Ontopo, a series of artist-led retreats that began in 2015.

Follow and tag Ontopo on Instagram: @on_topo
Follow and tag Nanea Lum on Instagram: @nanealum

Ulu Kupu Screening
NeueHouse Madison Square
Monday, May 9th
5:30 PM

Join us for a screening of the short film "Ulu Kupu" by Tiare Ribeaux and Jody Stillwater. Followed by a panel discussion with Jon Santos, Nanea Lum, Jody Stillwater and Sebastian Gelasso. In the film, Kānaka Maoli and O’ahu-based artists contribute to a collective work that emphasizes the sacredness of Wai (water).

At this year's NADA art fair, Jon Santos will be presenting a body of new work by Native Hawaiian artist Nanea Lum that centers earth as both natural pedagogical space and artistic medium. Since 2015, Santos has been organizing a series of retreats that also engage sacred space and ask participating artists to create site specific works in formats that transform traditional studio spaces into improvised, shared experiences.

Native Hawaiian artist Nanea Lum is based in Honolulu. Her research-based practice ranges from kapa (Hawaiian wauke beaten bark fiber materials) to large scale oil paintings. Nanea’s kapa is produced from plant material that she personally harvested and processed, dyed with inks from homemade charcoal, earth pigments, and plants. Her paintings are abstract land and ocean scapes that apply cultural concepts of creation that bridge the worlds between creation and creating.

Ryan Lee Window
May 18 – September 11, 2019
515 W 26th St floor 3, NYC

RYAN LEE is pleased to announce ONTOPO : ¿Hablas Turista? organized by Jon Santos with site-specific photographic window installations by Priscilla Jeong, Kamau Patton, and Amy Yao from May 15 to August 15, 2019. Performances by Keetin Mayakara, Juri Onuki, and Kamau Patton will take place during the opening reception and in the gallery space. The project is site responsive to RLWindow designed to engage High Line visitors and tourists through architecture, performance, and participation. The RLWindow can be viewed on the High Line at 26th Street overlooking the gallery.

Press Release

Kamau Patton, Wurtsboro, 2019
Digital Print

Amy Yao, Bacon Displacement, 2019
DIgital Print

Priscilla Jeong, 2019
Digital Print

View of the Ryan Lee window from the High Line.

Juri Onuki (movement)
Keetin Mayakara (sound)
May 18, 2019
Ryan Lee Gallery
515 W 26th St floor 3, NYC

Juri Onuki engages the work of George Miyasaki which will be on view during her performance. Her approach posits zen philosophy as a stabilizing mechanism for Japanese Americans after World War II. In this endeavor, the artist will question Japanese American identity by performing everyday gestures and movements based on Miyasaki’s work installed in the gallery.

video: Jason Hirata

Kamau Patton Performance
May 18, 2019
Ryan Lee Gallery
515 W 26th St floor 3, NYC

video: Jason Hirata