Imagined Encounters: Bang & Lee in Dar

상상의 만남 - 방앤리 인 다르에스살람
Drawing & Painting, Experiment & Other Projects, Text, Time-based Media
Drawings, video mosaic, archive video

Imagined Encounters: Bang & Lee in Dar is a solo show at Nafasi presented in tandem with a group show by Nafasi and Dar-based artists.

Imagined Encounters with Bang & Lee: A Collaborative Workshop

Technology continues to amplify access to cultural productions from anywhere you are in the world. In Tanzania, we are exposed to different aspects of Korean culture from the dramatic soap opera plot twists that glue us to our screens to second hand clothing that color our local markets. The presences of these productions in Tanzania not only provide a glimpse into the history and cultural aesthetics of Korean culture but also invite us to draw similarities and contrasts. Primarily conducted on Zoom, Imagined Encounters is a result of a series of workshops exploring technology, history and pattern-making and storytelling cross-culturally between Tanzania and Korea. Our sessions were rich exchanges of knowledge, artistic and curatorial production. Our exchange has manifested into paintings, installations & films - all of which carry the commonalities of our coexistence & interpretations of our relationships with the many patterns found in the universe around us. We share the same roof. We are connected under the same galaxy. The artists in this collaborative exhibition: Baraka Leo, Rebecca Yeong Ae Corey, Sabi John, Hedwiga Medard, Gano, Ibrahim Jonathan and Ismir Ra actively explore and experiment with the patterns weaving through our realities - rearranging them and re imagining them for each of us - to find our own meaning.

From March to May 2021, Nafasi Art Space in partnership with curator Kristina Dziedzic Wright and the South Korean artist duo Bang & Lee, undertook an ambitious collaborative exchange which involved a virtual workshop, the production of new work in both Tanzania and South Korea, a culminating multidisciplinary event featuring two side-by-side exhibitions.

Bang & Lee had been scheduled to come to Nafasi Art Space for a residency and exhibition in 2020, however due to the COVID-19 pandemic they were unable to travel. Though a series of conversations with the artists, curator Kristina Dziedzic Wright, and Nafasi’s curatorial team Rebecca Yeong Ae Corey and Jesse Gerard, a new format for collaboration and exchange was been conceptualized around a series of virtual conversations and experiences that engaged with Bang & Lee’s current project, the Artist Stone, which focuses on DIY ceramic 3D printing, as well as conversations with curator Nathalie Boseul Shin from the Total Museum of Contemporary Art, Korean curatorial collective Team Hashtag, and the Nafasi Academy Curatorial Programme.

The Tanzanian artists and curators selected to participate in the exchange had interests spanning design, installation, technology, and sculpture. In addition to the virtual conversations held in a workshop format, the participants engaged in research and creation over the two-month period, creating works inspired by and in dialogue with the Korean interlocutors.

The exchange explored linkages, parallels, and contrasts in Tanzanian and Korean design, patterns, and (visual) cultures, which provided an opportunity to excavate hidden historical and contemporary symbols, concepts, and systems that have informed both African and Asian societies. At the same time, this exchange sought to examine what intercultural exchange might look like when international travel is not possible, and instead virtual technologies and human impulses must meet to cross the distances between people.

This short documentary produced by Rebecca Yeong Ae Corey, directed and edited by Walt Mzengi with cinematography by Nicholas Calvin asks: Through these real and imagined encounters — despite dropped calls, power cuts, delayed shipments — did we forge meaningful connections and expressions that bring us together?

Imagined Encounters: Bang & Lee in Dar

Imagined Encounters: Bang and Lee in Dar / Patterns of Exchange

In March 2021, Nafasi Art Space hosted a virtual residency and exchange with South Korean artists Bang and Lee and a group of emerging Tanzanian artists and curators.

Curated by Kristina Dziedzic Wright
Supported by Korea Foundation