This Autumn NOW Gallery is proud to present a new photographic commission Human Stories: The Satirists, a group show of emerging photographic talent exploring the concept of satire through photography, and particularly how it is used to develop and nurture interconnected, diverse identities, gender, race and class.
Taking place at London’s NOW Gallery in Greenwich Peninsula from 13 October-13 November 2022, The Satirists brings together six rising stars in the field of photography and film, including Bubi Canal, Leonard Suryajaya, Nyugen Smith, Thandiwe Muriu, Stephen Tayo and Thy Tran.
The show brings together a diverse body of work that challenges historical and culturally biased tropes and stereotypes by presenting an alternative world view. Using satire as a tool to wield a bold irreverence and flair that transcends archetypal social constructs, the artists are using the medium of photography to develop new dialogues within the society.
Bubi Canal is a Spanish born New York-based artist whose photography, video art, and sculpture playfully addresses ideas around hybrid mythology, identity and personal history. Canal’s work has been the subject of solo and group exhibitions, including the Contemporary Arts Center in Cincinnati; Aperture Foundation in New York, Galician Contemporary Art Center in Spain, Benaki Museum in Athens; and Munch Gallery in New York. Canal’s work was featured on the cover of The British Journal of Photography and he is a contributor to The New Yorker, T Magazine – The New York Times, and won the Photography Gold Medal at the SPD Awards for work he contributed to New York Magazine.
Leonard Suryajaya uses his work to test the boundaries of intimacy, community and family. He uses photography, video, performance and installation to show how the everyday is layered with histories, meanings and potential. Many of Leonard’s investigations are rooted in the particularity of his upbringing as an Indonesian citizen of Chinese descent, as a Buddhist educated in Christian schools in a Muslim-majority country, and as someone who departed from his family and his culture’s definitions of love and family. Suryajaya explores these tensions in the everyday interaction, in the chance juxtaposition of culturally-coded objects, and in the disruptions stirred by queer relations. His work is included in collections such as the Art Institute of Chicago, Museum of Contemporary Photography, The Block Museum, Vontobel Art Collection, Joan Flasch Artist Book Collection, Mana Contemporary and Center for Photography at Woodstock.
Nyugen Smith is a Caribbean-American interdisciplinary artist based in Jersey City, NJ. Through performance, found object sculpture, mixed media drawing, painting, video, photo and writing, Nyugen deepens his knowledge of historical and present-day conditions of Black African descendants in the diaspora. Trauma, spiritual practices, language, violence, memory, architecture, landscape and climate change are primary concerns in his practice. His work has been presented at the Museum of Latin American Art, Nordic Black Theater, Norway, Newark Museum, and the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, among others.
Lagos-based photographer Stephen Tayo is known for his layered work, which seeks to communicate the complexity of humanity and the human experience as revealed in the world around him. His intimate works capture the sartorial flair of his sitters, honing in on clothing, accessories and styling as outward expressions of identity. Tayo’s work has been featured in Dazed, Vogue, The New York Times, Vice, and Interview Magazine and he has worked with artists like Burna Boy, Davido, and Tiwa Savage, bringing his unique style of photography to their image.
Thandiwe Muriu is a photographer born and raised in Nairobi, Kenya. As a female artist operating in a previously male-dominated field, she is passionate about celebrating and empowering her fellow women. In her CAMO series, Thandiwe showcases Africa’s unique mix of vibrant cultures, textiles and beauty norms. Through her work she celebrates her African heritage and tackles important issues such as identity and self-perception using the rich colours and vibrancy the continent is so well known for. Drawing inspiration from African textiles, everyday objects, and traditional hairstyles, Thandiwe explores how the individual can lose their identity to culture. In her work she not only explores who she is as an artist, but also as a black woman.
Thy Tran is a Vietnamese-Australian visual artist currently living and working in Saigon. Thy’s work is charged with a quiet yet sensual intimacy and melancholic narrative of a deep, dreamy romance. Her work explores sexuality, relationships and identity through imagery that is emotional yet surreal, capturing ephemeral moments within relationships. Thy’s photography has been published by Dazed and It’s Nice That in the past.
Human Stories is a series of annual photographic displays, curated by Kaia Charles that encourages a contemporary discourse on modern life and the human scale. By engaging with modern and progressive communities, artists, photographers, historians, filmmakers, writers and thinkers, Human Stories translates these messages into compelling visual displays.
Contributing photographers will showcase existing works but will also be commissioned to create a new selection of images for the show.
Kaia Charles, NOW Gallery Curator says, “We are thrilled to be spotlighting this diverse group of artists and photographers, bringing together an evocative collection of works which traverse cultural modalities of a post Pandemic world.”