December 14, 2021 5:26 PM
by Clove Galilee
The City of Santa Monica and Santa Monica Cultural Affairs is pleased to present the culminating exhibit for Ray Chang and Edwin Ushiro, summer artist-in-residents for 2021. The City of Santa Monica established the Studio Residency Program at the Camera Obscura Art Lab to support the work of local artists, highlight the intersection of fine art and craft, and provide the public with access to a variety of artistic practice and instruction. Artists are chosen for three residency periods a year.
During this session of the Camera Obscura Art Lab Residency, both artists grappled with what it meant for the community to “come back to life”— observing summer in Palisades Park, after more than a year of COVID restrictions. Chang investigated his relation to time and transition and focused on his personal association to the space around him. Ushiro explored the location through his relationship with the visitors, using socially distanced in-person interviews to illuminate the inner lives of his portraits.
Ray Chang: In the Studio
About his residency, Ray Chang states, “During my time at the Camera Obscura Art Lab, things noticeably began shifting to the current "new normal". Being at the Camera during this time allowed me to observe how quickly things change in this petri dish of a location and I was able to internalize how uneasy I felt at times because of it. Like many, I needed a period of adjustment to get back to a healthy working lifestyle; my body's clock and mechanisms had to reset. The sculptures I created during this residency reflect on different times of the day, as well as the rituals and mundane activities that come with it. Taking inspiration from being in the Camera, I continued my work in creating kinetic works to translate these emotions into physical moving forms that experiment with the temporality of transitioning back to a world that has changed so much despite its efforts to create a familiarity. By repurposing clockwork mechanisms and recontextualizing them through various animated forms, one is able to manipulate the various rhythms of time and bring to life individual representational elements."
Reconditioned: Animated Sculpture Series
Edwin Ushiro: In the Studio
About his work as part of the Camera Obscura Art Lab Residency Edwin Ushiro states, “I wanted to approach the residency from an explorer’s perspective. Understanding the environmental conditions and interviewing the people that were drawn (no pun intended) to it. It was my first time interviewing and drawing portraits of people on site. I enjoyed meeting each visitor. It was nice after not seeing anyone physically for over a year. I noticed the combination of our conversation and being outdoors made for a very casual pose that you can feel in the finished work. Portraiture also allowed me to come out of my shell and meet people who I would not normally get a chance to spark a conversation with. I left the residency feeling more connected to a location because of the people who inhabit it.”
Edwin Ushiro: New Works
Cultural Affairs Supervisor