ACAW Mid-Season Kickoff Reception
6:30-9pm | Hosted by Sylvia Wald & Po Kim Foundation

This reception celebrates Asia Contemporary Art Week (ACAW)’s 11th edition at the loft-studios of beloved late artists Po Kim (Korean-born 1917-2014) and Sylvia Wald (American-born 1915-2011) – a space that is the living legacy of their intercultural East-West dialogues spanning over seven decades- now committed to supporting emerging contemporary artists from Korea and beyond through The Sylvia Wald & Po Kim Foundation.
An inspiring figure particularly among the Korean and Korean-American art community of New York, Po Kim illuminated the transcultural nature of mid-century abstraction by integrating elements of Western painting with his Korean cultural heritage. Sylvia Wald, a socially and politically conscious artist, integrated issues of social and racial inequalities into her dynamic paintings, abstract prints and sculptures. Together, the two became life partners who never ceased to evolve alongside each other and inspired those around them with their distinct practices.
Stemming from the concepts of ACAW’s signature forum FIELD MEETING, tonight’s gathering honors the “studio” as sacred site- a living, breathing element of one’s practice and a personal sanctuary, as exemplified by Po Kim’s rooftop garden. Overlooking the Manhattan skyline, the nurturing environment reminds us that today’s more diverse and expansive contemporary art scene would not have been possible without the seeds planted by previous generations. In this spirit, tonight’s program spotlights the connectivity between practiced traditions in various regions of Asia with two performances that pay tribute to how knowledge, insight and experiences are passed on to transcend time.
Having once known and interacted with Po Kim in this studio, Jung Hee Choi has conceived a site-specific performance A Raga Lesson to honor the traditions and formal practices inspired by her study of Indian classical music. With profound respect and humility, she shares the secret, esoteric subtleties of the gharana – the intensive, personal training process of a disciple in relationship to the guru. Her live performance evokes an ever-evolving tradition of ideas, musicianship and performance practice.
Considering embodied knowledge as a living form, designer Zolaykha Sherzad manifests a performative fashion presentation- with figures intersecting the crowd, adorned in custom clothing of intricately hand woven and embroidered textiles from Afghanistan and Central Asia. Zarif Designs, her Kabul-based eco-fashion collection, reexamines the merging of traditional craftsmanship with modern aesthetics and fair-trade practices as part of her awareness of a shared, universal ecosystem, that also creates opportunities for local communities’ personal fulfillment and pride in their heritage.
 Jung Hee Choi (New York) is an artist/musician/lecturer who works in video, performance, sound, and multi-media installations. Her work has been presented at FRAC Franche-Comté, France; Berliner Festspiele, Germany; Dia Art Foundation, Guggenheim Museum and MELA Foundation. Her video sound performance and installation, RICE, was chosen as one of The 10 Best of 2003 in the December issue of Artforum.
Zolaykha Sherzad (New York) is the founder of Zarif Designs and the Official Haute Couture Representative for Afghanistan by the World Fashion Week. She has presented her work in Paris, London, Milan, New York and Delhi; collaborated with Agnes B, theatre shows at the Globe in London, and featured in the film The Reluctant Fundamentalist starring Kate Hudson. Her work was most recently featured at the 12th Havana Biennial (2015).
ACAW 2016 Mid-Season Party is generously hosted by The Po Kim & Sylvia Wald Foundation with special thanks to SOTO for providing premium Japanese sake for the event


Sylvia Wald & Po Kim Foundation > MAP
417 Lafayette St
New York, NY 10003

Above: Po Kim, Color Tape and Paper I, 2007. Tape on canvas, diptych 72 x 120 in (total). Courtesy of Sylvia Wald & Po Kim Foundation