...a walkable exterior art site in the Payne-Phalen neighborhood at 580 Case......
Case Edgerton Studios
Kathy Liao, liú nián 流年 Fleeting Time
Sept 6- Oct 28, 2022
street art site at the corner of Case and Edgerton
in conjunction with
Solidarity Street Gallery | Resilient Generations
Sept 9,10, 2022
Liú Nián began as an image of an airport, of people, and as the pandemic progressed it sat in Liao’s studio, paralyzed, and stopped in its tracks. While visiting her grandmother in Taipei, her mother sent images as they ventured out into the city. She was struck by a photo of her grandmother in an empty metro station. Her memories of the Taipei metro are that it is packed, shoulder to shoulder. The airport painting quickly shifted from a crowd to a lonely figure. In thinking about what we, across the globe, had been through, both collectively and socially distanced, Liao considers the “immensity of the ripple, the wave, the tide of reckoning, trauma, and the new normal... still just a part of an ever-flowing passage of our time here on earth.”
Kathy Liao, 流年 liú nián, 120x180", acrylic and oil on panels, 2021
Liú Nián, translated in English as, Fleeting Time, has a broader meaning in its native Chinese language as, The Endless Passing of Time. Liú Nián is a reference to one's fortune for the year. Liao's mother taught her that in Chinese fortune telling, your life is like a river, it continues to flow endlessly. The fortune teller can only tell you about the water passing through at that moment - like dropping a leaf into the water, it keeps going and flowing. As families separate and migrate, I recognize the invariable loss and the struggle to justify and reconcile the distance in between. Liao continues..."As we rely more on virtual means to stay in touch with distant loved ones, the wall of the digital screen blinds us to those close by and make us lose touch with reality. With each piece, I am constantly re-establishing my relationship to family, being conscientious of my distance to them physically and emotionally."
"I engage in rituals to keep memories alive. Phone calls at the same time every day, packing and unpacking luggage, eagerly waiting at Arrival and saying good-byes at Departure, getting into another long winding customs and border security line. These rituals are performed by many immigrants, despite not knowing when or where the line ends. As an artist of Taiwanese descent, I look for patterns and repetitions in behaviors of the immigrant family. As families separate and migrate, I recognize the invariable loss and the struggle to justify and reconcile the distance in between. As we rely more on virtual means to stay in touch with distant loved ones, the wall of the digital screen blinds us to those close by and make us lose touch with reality. With each piece, I am constantly re-establishing my relationship to family, being conscientious of my distance to them physically and emotionally."
Kathy Liao received her MFA in Painting from Boston University and BFA in Painting. She is a recipient of various awards including the 2022 21c Kansas City Artadia Award, 2020 Charlotte Street Foundation Visual Artist Award, Elizabeth Greenshield Foundation Grant, and the public art commission for the new Kansas City International Airport. Her recent exhibitions include the Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art and Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City. Formerly, Liao was Director of the Painting and Printmaking at Missouri Western State University and taught at various institutions across the country. She was nominated “Most Influential Professor” in 2019. She is currently part of the Artist Services team at Mid-America Arts Alliance in Kansas City, MO.