The Lafayette Rendezvous

Exhibition text for RAINRAIN Gallery

Sep 28 - Nov 10, 2023

RAINRAIN is delighted to announce the inaugural exhibition at its brand new location in New York, 110 Lafayette Street, Suite 201. Titled The Lafayette Rendezvous: Contingents and Convergences, the show is set to open on September 28, 2023. It will feature works by nine artists: Stewart Bird, Emma cc Cook, Joey Gonnella, Justin Rui Han, Kosuke Kawahara, Naomi Nakazato, Kai Oh, Edd Ravn, and Chengtao Yi. Given RAINRAIN's location at the junction of Tribeca, Chinatown, and Soho, the gallery aims to create a meeting point where people from various walks of life converge.

For the unveiling of The Lafayette Rendezvous: Contingents and Convergences, Kosuke Kawahara uses materials from living matter and brings shapes of underlying structures such as veins, root systems, bones, and connective tissue into his work, probing interdependent relationships within the ecosystem and the circular process of growth and decay. In Edd Ravn’s painting, rainwater interacts with mineral pigments; natural materials, mild color, and gossamer-like patterns invoke fluid connections between seeing and sensing. Drawing inspiration from historical manuscripts, film stills, and daily observation, Justin Rui Han transforms the picture plane into a stage and reorganizes cultural symbols to reshape our vision of spaces.

Naomi Nakazato refers to gift-giving rituals in East Asian culture in her work, making objects embedded with memories that once belonged to certain places and emphasizing the connections with family and the value of exchange. Emma cc Cook makes a nod to withering craft traditions in her horizon-blurred monochromatic painting. Vignettes are packed neatly into gridded cells, resembling comic strips; cartoonish scenes humorously draw attention to illegible memories and histories of the land, functioning as a visual archaeology of the past.

Joey Gonnella explores the history of images and translates stories and myths into minimal lines pyrographed on paper or industrial materials, implying the translucency of seeing. Stewart Bird uses a customized AI-assisted tool to blend images that he sourced from image archives and adds an encaustic layer to the printed work, merging the digital process with traditional painting technique. Combining photos taken by her, along with images she found online, Kai Oh produces an altered view of nature and presents the absurdity of the human-made landscape. Chengtao Yi combines artificial flowers with mechanical parts, which take their shape from the gardens in Suzhou, a major city in East China, alluding to the module production imbued with sociocultural norms and systems while attempting to portray subtle ways of rebelling.