Artist: Carly Lake and May Ta
Media: Canvas, Paint, Illustration, Sculpture
Gallery: CSULB School of Art, Dutzi Gallery
Website: In Progress
For this week’s Artist Conversation, I had the pleasure of experiencing the art exhibition, Closer, created by Carly Lake and May Ta. Due to Carly Lake being busy, I only had the pleasure of getting to know May Ta. May Ta is a CSULB undergraduate student working toward her BFA degree in the School of Art’s Illustration Program. Ms. Ta is an international student who moved from Vietnam a few years ago. In fact, her family back in Vietnam wanted her to major in engineering but she chose to dedicate her life to being an artist which led to her family not supporting her anymore. However, she turned her life around and currently lives in Anaheim. Also, she used to attend Cal State Fullerton before transferring to Cal State Long Beach. The reason why she transferred is because she knows that CSULB has the strongest art department.
When I first saw, Closer, I knew immediately that it was supposed to be someone’s room. From there on, it’s when it got interesting. For example, in this “room” there was a mattress that had a blanket that was made out a bunch of sewed handwritten messages that at the end created a collage filled with tiny sketches and messages. Then, in the middle of said room, there was an easel and a chair that made it look like someone was in the beginning stages of painting on the canvas; it only had different color paint brush strokes that covered the whole canvas. Another aspect of this exhibition is that they had different paintings that they created displayed all over the walls and a sculpture made out painted clay and colorful yarn, hanging from the ceiling. Overall, this exhibition was bright and three-dimensional, all the colors used were vibrant and upbeat and enhanced the three-dimensional parts of this art piece.
In the summary that they provided, they commented that their collaboration investigates the existence of balance between intimacy with others and intimacy with ourselves. Their exhibition discusses the universal desire for intimacy even though the majority of our life we spend it alone. Also, by showcasing this exhibition, it allows us, the guests, to seemingly enter the private space/ life of another person. In a sense, this room is a medium of a sacred space of “intimate solitude,” that is why they incorporated the chair, easel, bed, and blanket. Furthermore, May Ta explained that they titled their exhibition, Closer, because intimate with another person can either be a hindrance or a pathway to finding yourself. Lastly, May Ta stated that she likes using illustrations as a platform to tell someone’s story and that is why she drew that isolated person surrounded by all those different colors looking at nothing and why she put those windows showing the life of the people we don’t notice.
Overall, I found Carly Lake’s and May Ta’s the most intriguing because I like how much detail and thought was put into it. I really enjoyed how their art piece can generally relate to everybody, including myself, because it deals with being alone and how we crave intimacy. Also, I loved and respected how Carly Lake was brave enough to display her and her boyfriend’s letters that they wrote to each other on the blanket that I previously mentioned. In fact, Carly Lake used the mattress and blanket to represent the time that they spent together. That actually made me love and admire their art piece even more and was the main reason why I chose to do my blog on them.