A Meditation on Solidarity and Hope by Huang Ruo and Shelley Monroe Huang
Where: Asia Society and Museum
725 Park Ave.
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On July 9, 1776, General George Washington, Commander in Chief of the Continental Forces, read aloud the words of the Declaration of Independence at the gathering place where New York City Hall stands today. Inspired by his reading and leadership, New Yorkers and Continental soldiers joined together to bring down a nearby statue of King George III to demonstrate their newfound independence; this historic event was later memorialized by the German-American artist Johannes Adam Simon Oertel in his masterpiece Pulling Down the Statue Of King George III, New York City (1852-1853). In this powerful image about freedom and justice, Oertel depicts a young African American man as a central figure among the patriots, manifesting the abolitionist idea that freedoms guaranteed in the Declaration of Independence apply to all Americans, regardless of color.
This seminal image of American history, and several other masterpieces of traditional American art, will be juxtaposed with more than twenty important works by modern and contemporary American artists of Asian descent in a collateral exhibition to the Asia Society Triennial, aptly entitled “Dreaming Together: New-York Historical Society and Asia Society.” This groundbreaking exhibition will open in the grand Dexter Hall at the 216-year-old New-York Historical Society in late 2020.
As a gesture of solidarity for racial equality and justice to demonstrate that Black Lives Matter and at a time when anti-Asian racism has surged in a divisive post-COVID-19 world, the Asia Society Triennial presents a stirring performance by the Triennial’s composer-in-residence, Huang Ruo, with chamber musician Shelley Monroe Huang. Together, the husband-and-wife duet will perform a joint composition for the piano and bassoon. In their own words, this work is “not only an imaginative landscape, but also a state of mind. A continuous drone, oscillating in the low register on the piano, is played only by the pianist’s left hand. The drone provides a wind-like sonority as the background. In the foreground, a cursive bassoon line moves up and down throughout the entire range of the instrument.”Buy tickets/get more info now