Art by Angelina Han.

Have You Eaten?, curated by Rya Wu, is exhibiting at the Slip Gallery in Belltown, Seattle. Artists of AAPI descent address themes of diaspora, belonging, and identity by using acrylic, giclee print, photography, mixed vegetable pigment, and more.

When entering the volunteer-run gallery, there is a wall with three photographed portraits, which are a part of Judy Lee’s portrait-video project called My Name Story. The photograph to the right is of Wu, who holds a picture of her mom. Underneath is a QR code to hear an audio preview of Wu’s story.

“I give myself permission to take up space. I give myself the permission to use my gifts and skill sets to create opportunities and communities that I would like to give back to,” Wu states in the audio preview. Her eye for art created this exhibit where a community of artists, like herself, can take up space and showcase artwork that documents their own journey of finding a place of belonging.

Seraphim Hong’s Embracing Mixedness, for example, portrays the comfort that community brings. This editioned print shows 3 women wrapped up in a colorful medley of birds, leaves, flowers, and orcas. As they embrace, their expressions show the joy and peace they feel when together. “This one makes me feel so warm,” a volunteer said while pointing out the piece that stood out to them.

Along with the artworks that exemplify warmth and comfort, other artworks opted to showcase loneliness, fear, or loss. Aziza Saliev’s Made Up Memory, for example, portrays a way to cope when there is a lack of belonging. This oil painting is of a figure dressed in a leaf- printed attire and a purple flower crown. The figure longingly holds onto a picture that’s shaped like a house and has a huge family gathered around a dining table.

The inclusion of leaves, flowers, and animals is common among the displayed artwork. In addition to how people are connected and comforted by food, as stated by the exhibit’s name, the popular art piece called Eggtopus by Zachary Pacleb shows how nature can also
bring a sense of peace and belonging. Stop by the Slip Gallery to see why this piece, made with egg crates, concrete, wood, and shells, is voted as the People’s Choice.

Have You Eaten? runs through February 23, 2023 at Slip Gallery, 2301 1st Avenue, Seattle. Open hours are 2-6pm from February 16-17. The Closing Reception is on February 23 from 5-8pm. Email [email protected] to schedule a visiting appointment, if unable to
go during open hours.

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