New-York Historical’s current exhibition Dreaming Together interweaves historical American with contemporary Asian and Asian diasporic art to explore the possibilities unleashed when people, cultures, and institutions dream in tandem. These themes of cooperation, creativity, and mutual inspiration extend even to the exhibition’s catalogue, an elegant tome with an almost entirely blank, clothbound hardcover that’s actually designed to be drawn on. The exhibition’s curator, Dr. Wendy N.E. Ikemoto, reached out to some of the dynamic artists featured in the show to see what kinds of designs they might come up with for a personalized catalogue cover. Here are just a few of the stunning works they created with statements from the artists themselves.
Pick up your own copy of the Dreaming Together catalogue at the NYHistory Store now. And explore the exhibition at the Museum through July 25.
Shiva Ahmadi’s Dreaming Together cover creation
I painted a monkey carelessly playing with an explosive. The character comes from my animation Lotus, which is a commentary on the relationship between power and corruption.
Kenn Lam’s cover creation
May Asian communities everywhere continue fighting against injustices and marching towards a brighter future.
Ken Tan’s cover creation
Ken Tan (catalogue designer)
I picked up a sharpie and started drawing lines, imagining the typical borders a flag would have. On one land area, I used long expansive lines. On another land, I used perpendicular strokes—a different population if you will. Stars appear in the negative space only because a kind of chaotic blending of lines. I drew in freehand because no one is perfect.
Lisa Bloomfield’s cover creation
After digitally combining two recent abstract paintings, I removed much of the resulting composition to create an open flowing space, a metaphor for the ability to dream without obstruction.