Culture

Thursday Spotlight: Tommy Kha and the “negotiation between worlds”

To complement last Thursday Spotlight’s article on Meena Hasan, today, we speak wtih fellow artist Tommy Kha who, alongside Meena, is deconstructing identity through their joint show at LAUNCH F18 Gallery in Tribeca. Tommy, a Greenpointer of multiple years, is a photographer who elevates the mundane and finds touches of surreality and the bizarre in the quotidian (as evidenced from some samples sprinkled around his Instagram).

Greenpointers: You live in Greenpoint, I hear! What’s it been like to work in a community so rich in visual artists?
It’s odd, this is the beginning of my fourth year here and only now, I feel I can settle in and unpack my anxiety and work. I’ve lucked out to be near my schoolmates that my existential status feels less isolating. It’s a sight to see spaces like DAAB, the Java Project, the Greenpoint Gallery, and my artist friends pushing up against stones and making work, in turn, I find myself pushing as well.

Your current show at LAUNCH F18 Gallery in Tribeca wrestles with the effects of imperialism. Can you discuss the pieces you contributed to this exhibition?
I wanted to go in the opposite direction as my previous iterations of my self-portrait work, being given the space to present work less about performed Otherness but being a product of colonialism. I’m more concerned with the direct experiences my mother and family members has had.

The portraits I’ve made of her from our long-form collaboration are alongside photographs she made back in 1984, the year she successfully fled Vietnam (Old Country), which is something g of a familial trait — my great-grandparents fled 1930s China (Older Country). I didn’t know she made photographs at some point, it’s striking for me to see them because

I view photography and art differently than my mother’s generation, whose life’s experiences were contingent on survival and non-conforming (my mother went through an indoctrination camp).

Additionally, I’ve included newsprints for people to take, on one side are Southern landscapes and interiors, on the other side is an illegible article recalling my aunt’s murder, fading over the four images, which I never quite resolved her death. Continue reading

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Thursday Spotlight: Meena Hasan and “Post-Colonial Legacy”

Courtesy of LAUNCHF18

Meena Hasan’s newest show at LAUNCH F18 is, what she brilliantly and comically calls, a “kaleidoscopic onion.” To understand that, one must first understand her vivid works that stem from diverse compositions and series but are now in giddy and ponderous conversation with each other in one show. She shares this LAUNCH F18 exhibition with the Tommy Kha, who, alongside Meena, is exploring imperialism through a contemporary lens. To learn more about Meena and her work that “investigates and reveals Asian American experiences,” read on, follow her Instagram, and visit “Other Echoes Inhabit The Garden” at LAUNCH F18!

Greenpointers: You’re a Greenpointer yourself, I hear! How has the neighborhood treated you. Any favorite spots?

Meena Hasan: Yes, I’ve been in Greenpoint for about six years and I love it. I am hesitant to tell too much, since one of the greatest characteristics of Greenpoint is that the best spots feel secret, tucked away and well supported by local patrons. Northside Bakery has amazing Polish food – schnitzels and stuffed cabage are my go to. I am always on the hunt for good curry and am lucky to have a legit take-out Indian food spot nearby, Moharani, run by Bangladeshis. They use all the right spices and do not water down their food like most places. I also discovered the Lite Bites lunch hour, they have insanely tasty Trinidadian curries and rotis during the week, but you have to hit it before 2pm to get the choicest morsels. Possibly the best hot sauce I’ve ever had too (in the US). Not to get all romantic about it, but the distinct flavors really do unveil themselves slowly on your tongue, in your throat and belly, like a raga, and trying to decipher their recipe is great fun.

Your current show at LAUNCH F18 Gallery in Tribeca deals with “post-colonial legacy,” the press release says. Can you dive into the works you contributed to this exhibition?

This show, titled “Other Echoes Inhabit The Garden” unfolded over time. I like to think of it as a kaleidoscopic onion of distinct shapes and ideas reflecting each other across and through the room. Each of the works that I included is from a different series that I have been working on for the past few years and it’s fantastic to see them all hanging out together. Included are a first-person perspective or PoV painting as I call the series of putting on gold bangles, a small paper sculpture of my grandmother’s earrings, a portrait of my mother’s nape and a large hanging paper piece that investigates and transforms a Chintz pattern (a calico textile made in South Asia for the British). Also included are two small gouaches on cardboard that were made as meditations in between the making of the above pieces.

The show was an experiment in many ways, a chance to juxtapose the many distinctions not only within my pieces but also those in contrast to Tommy’s works, with the hope that they would converse, open up and find meaning through their interaction, that they would “echo” in other words. This could be like any group show, but in our case it was particularly significant given our shared desire to investigate and reveal Asian American experiences through our works. Tommy and I, like all children of immigrants, and honestly like the majority of individuals in the world, have inherited the post-colonial legacies of our families. The show seeks to pay respect to this inheritance and, particularly, the matriarchs who have shaped and raised us, whose influence pervades the works and, of course, our daily lives as well. Continue reading

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Find Local Summer Flavors in Greenpoint

The weather’s warmed up, the sun’s come out, and we’re out here taking full advantage! Local Greenpoint businesses have you covered with refreshing summer drinks and seasonal specials. Next time you’re looking for a place to chill with your friends, try out one of these spots and get an extra 10% off, up to 30% total, when you pay with the Cinch app and use code SUMMER! June 7-14 only.

Try a New Summer Drink

In the mood for a sour beer? Spritzenhaus has got one on tap. If sours aren’t your thing, try one of the other 24 beers on tap at this expansive beer garden. If you can’t find an awesome new beer to love with that many options, well, we don’t know what to tell you. Try a cocktail instead?

Spritzenhaus Greenpoint taps

If you’re a fan of canned cocktails, Duke’s Liquor Box has an intriguing new option to check out. The Long Drink is a Finnish tradition dating back to 1952; its refreshing citrus taste and liquor kick make it great for summertime parties.

Duke’s Liquor Box “Long Drink”

Take Your Taste Buds on Vacation

If you live in Greenpoint, you’re probably very familiar with Polish food. If you haven’t tried it yet (or even if you have), check out Polka Dot Cafe or Krolewskie Jadlo for modern takes on traditional Polish and eastern European comfort foods. Polka Dot Cafe is a casual, counter-service spot while Krolewskie Jadlo is a sit-down restaurant appropriate for a first date.

Polka Dot Cafe Polish donut

Brooklyn Label is known for their American classics and brunch, but they recently ventured into French territory with a beef bourguignon dinner special. Visit during happy hour for 2-for-1 margaritas and whiskey sours!

 


Sponsored by CinchCinch is your neighborhood app supporting local businesses and building strong community connections. Download the app here to discover amazing local Greenpoint businesses and get access to more exclusive offers!

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Wrap Party for Greenpoint Open Studios Tonight! (June 9th)

Wow! What an awesome weekend it’s been. Come celebrate the wrap of 2019’s Greenpoint Open Studios at One Bedford, located on the wedge of land between Nassau and Bedford in Greenpoint. We will be spinning records, projecting artwork by GOS participants, and serving fresh watermelon soju cocktails. Registered Greenpoint Open Studios 2019 artists get one FREE drink! See you tonight!

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Greenpoint Open Studios: Official 2019 Schedule

It all starts tonight: Greenpoint Open Studios is here! Over the next three days, hundreds of local artists will open their homes, workspaces, and studios to expose their craft and showcase their work. Join us for a weekend of community and art, get your steps in walking from studio to studio, and — as always — support local artists!

For a full rundown of the weekend’s festivities, see our exciting schedule of events below:

GOS 2019 Launch Party
TONIGHT, Friday June 7
7:30 PM–Midnight

Greenpoint Open Studios 2019 will launch at Brooklyn Bazar (150 Greenpoint Avenue) with music, dancing, full bar with frozen cocktail specials, and creative activities like live painting, art installations, video projections, and more. FREE swag bag full of art supplies for registered artists and the first 100 visitors courtesy of Blick Art Materials will be provided. All are welcome, and the event is free — just register here.

Greenpoint Open Studios 2019
Saturday, June 8 and Sunday, June 9
Noon–6 PM

For one weekend, 300+ local artists and designers open up their Greenpoint, Brooklyn studios to the public to showcase work in a variety of mediums. From paintings, sculptures, film, photography, weaving/textiles, to ceramics, and more, there are seasoned artists to be visited and emerging artists to be discovered in the northernmost tip of Brooklyn. Map out your journey with our online guide!

GOS 2019 Wrap Party
Sunday, June
9
6:30–9 PM

Join local creatives to wind down the art-filled weekend festivities of Greenpoint Open Studios 2019 with food and drinks at One Bedford! We will be spinning records, projecting artwork by GOS 2019 participants, and making fresh watermelon soju cocktails. Register for free here.

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Your Art-Filled Weekend Starts Tonight With Greenpoint Open Studios! (6/7)

2018 Greenpoint Open Studios Launch Party at Java Studios
2018 Greenpoint Open Studios Launch Party at Java Studios.

The weather will be wonderful, and we are happy to host a weekend full of celebrating local arts in North Brooklyn. We can’t wait to kick off the Greenpoint Open Studios 2019 festivities! Everyone is welcome at Brooklyn Bazaar (150 Greenpoint Ave) tonight (June 7th) starting at 7:30pm with an explosion of music, dancing, a full bar with frozen cocktail specials, and of course live art installations!

As in past years, we expect a night full of creative energy where the entire space will come alive with art and music.

At tonight’s shindig, you can expect video projections by Nick Koller, tapestries by Katie Westmoreland, textile art by Aruni Aharmakirthi, live painting by Katrina Eugenia, and a fantastic IG-worthy wall of balloons by Brooklyn Party People. Plus more to be announced!

And, there’ll be FREE swag bags of art supplies for registered artists and the first 100 visitors courtesy of Blick Art Materials.

Not to mention, the party is totally FREE and will kick off the weekend’s festivities.

Of course, this is just a glimpse of what’s in store for the rest of the weekend when 350+ local artists open up their spaces to the public. Rain or shine, we’ve got some amazing talent in the ‘hood and a non-stop celebration is in order.

On Saturday (6/8) and Sunday (6/9) you can visit HUNDREDS of local artist studios, and navigate via the online map or pick up a printed brochure at any of these North Brooklyn info hub locations:

RSVP for Friday’s Launch Party on Facebook

We’ll see you there!

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Greenpoint Open Studios Kicks Off This Weekend! (June 8-9)

Get ready for Greenpoint Open Studios, an epic showcase of local art. Over the course of one weekend (this year June 8-9), hundreds of local artists open their studio doors to the public for an exciting peek inside their craft. It’s an uncurated, free event that allows visitors to get a glimpse of the process and space where the artwork is created while engaging directly with its creators.

Brooklyn has a long-standing reputation for being a hotbed of creativity and GOS is going to represent its northernmost tip in true Greenpoint fashion—by keepin’ it real—providing an open platform for showcasing the various expressions of our creative community’s imagination and skills. This year, we have more than 350 artists participating, and an exciting lineup of events. Continue reading

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The McGolrick Park Roam: GOS Self-Guided Tour

Bisected by the rumbling BQE and hugged by Newton Creek, the southeastern parcel of Greenpoint is a hot spot for a self-guided Greenpoint Open Studios walking tour. Are you up for an adventure off the beaten path? Ready to see some fabulous art and get to know Greenpoint’s industrial southeastern edge?
Continue reading

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Your Guide for Special Events This Weekend (6/8-6/9) for Greenpoint Open Studios!

Blast from the past: Juan Miguel Marin adding a new piece to his ongoing series titled “Drawing Under The Influence” live outside of his studio at The Pencil Factory during GOS in 2018.

Back for its sixth year and stronger than ever, Greenpoint Open Studios will bring the neighborhood an art-filled weekend this Saturday and Sunday (June 8th & 9th) with more than 350 local artists opening up their studios to the public — plus parties, special events, and some stellar artist-organized workshops. We will also, hopefully, be bringing the sunshine. Continue reading

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Great “Open Studios” from Greenpoint’s Past

Union Porcelain Works ad from 1916 (via Brooklyn Eagle Archives)

Greenpoint Open Studios is the weekend of June 8th and 9th and is a special time in the area as about 400 artists open their studios to thousands of art lovers who get to see the amazing creativity that is Greenpoint’s beating heart.

However, this creativity is nothing new locally. Throughout its long history our area has been a home to highly creative artists and artisans. So let’s travel back in time and visit some of the great studios and workshops of Greenpoint’s past.

Many clay and porcelain artists work locally today, but these present-day potters are merely following in a long tradition. Walt Whitman in his 1857 visit to the area wrote an article about the American Porcelain Works, which once turned out beautiful pieces of porcelain at Franklin and Freeman Streets, but this workshop was only one of many local potteries. Continue reading

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