Visiting Artists '14
A self-taught artist, Winfred Rembert records a painful chapter of American history in autobiographical paintings, created on hand-tooled and dyed leather, which explore the lives of African Americans in Jim Crow-era Georgia. After taking part in civil rights demonstrations, he survived a lynching only to be sent to prison to do hard labor on a chain gang. Another inmate taught him leatherworking and Rembert began depicting his past in engaging compositions and vibrant color. In many scenes, Rembert offers a raw view of racism, inequality, and violence while celebrating his community’s resilience in the face of such overwhelming injustice.
The past and present are inextricably linked in Yun-Fei Ji’s work. Using traditional Song Dynasty landscape painting techniques, with mineral-based inks and watercolors on handmade paper, his paintings and scrolls often explore the effects of environmental engineering and the resulting social upheaval, as well as the repercussions of natural disasters: from the U.S. government’s ineffectual response to Hurricane Katrina to the Three Gorges Dam project on the Yangtze River. Ji combines Chinese symbolism, personal research, and fictional elements to portray his chosen narratives in both satirical and sympathetic ways.