Psycho/Somatic: Visions of the Body in Contemporary
East Asian Art

June 16, 2015 — June 26, 2016
John N. Stern Gallery

Artists in and from East Asia have contributed much to global contemporary art. This exhibition examines divergent ways of thinking about the body—from physical vehicle to transcendent symbol—and how our perceptions are created in large part by the culture in which we live.

In Asian thought, the body is often understood in many ways and on multiple levels simultaneously. A number of the works examine the mind-body relationship found in esoteric Buddhist traditions, and how it can reveal an individual’s larger dimensions, through visual quotations from religious imagery. Other works reference the physical body—its biology and appearance—as well as the body as a representation of identity, or the roles played by an individual in society. Many of the works may be interpreted from all of these perspectives. The exhibition also features a 15-minute video that relates the emotion of anger, as embodied by the wrathful Buddhist deity Yamantaka, with the neurophysical reactions that occur in the body.

This exhibition was organized by Kevin R.E. Greenwood, the Joan L. Danforth Assistant Curator of Asian Art.

From the video Wrathful King Kong Core (2011), by Chinese artist Lù Yáng.
The AMAM is grateful to the Department of Neuroscience at Oberlin College, which provided partial funding for the loan of the video.