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EYEth Art

Speaker: Artist Zhou Jiayi, Artist Alice Hu

Discussant: Curator Han Bo

Moderator: Art Historian Julie Chun

About the talk:

Those who live in a silent world often can't get fully involved in the society due to communication difficulties and lack of accessibility. But art doesn't have any boundaries. The deaf artists live in a world of their own called EYEth, which relates to the eye, the sign language, and the visual. The deaf community, especially the deaf artists, attempt to show and advocate creativity, break stereotypes, increase public awareness and promote inclusiveness of art for all.

One of these deaf artists is Jiayi Zhou who is currently holding the solo exhibition Silent Visions at the Goethe Open Space 2020. Art is Jiayi's first language as she became deaf at an early age. Her work comes from the love she finds when creating artwork. That's the love that runs in her blood and is the center of her life. Art is her silent scream from within as she cannot physically hear and speak.

In this talk about deaf culture, Jiayi Zhou meets Alice Hu, a deaf visual designer and multi talent, born in Shanghai, and living in Austria. Alice Hu is also a moderator, actor, stage performer, and a sign language interpreter for several sign languages, as well as experimenting with music, video, and live performance interpretations. She participates in many international programs promoting social inclusion with diverse artists. For her positive contributions in this field, she has gained awards and recognitions.

For this special talk, Curator of the exhibition Han Bo and Art Focus Convener Julie Chun will guide us into this world of deaf culture with discussion and dialogue with the artists Jiayi Zhou and Alice Hu who will share examples of their works and projects, as well as what it means to be deaf, a female, and an artist. Additionally the talk will offer the audience the opportunity to gain a deeper and better understanding about the deaf community who live in EYEth, a world that is a fertile breeding ground for rich artistic expression.

Join us in this journey and take part in the discussion with diverse guests on the panel. Our professional sign language interpreter Wenyan Tang will help us to overcome language barriers.

About the artists:

Zhou Jiayi was born and raised in Shanghai, China. She graduated with honors from Shanghai Institute of Technology in 2004, receiving an Associate in Arts in Environment Art Design. In 2009, Zhou Jiayi graduated from Gallaudet University with honors, receiving a double Bachelor of Arts in Graphic Design and Studio Art 2D. She also won the Nippon World Deaf Leadership Scholarship and in 2012, she earned her M.A. degree in International Development at Gallaudet University. Zhou Jiayi has participated in different activities and international conferences such as the Salzburg Seminar "People, Peace and Planet in 2030: Shaping Inclusive and Sustainable Growth" (Kyoto and Tokyo, Japan), Leadership Conference on International Disability Rights at the U.S. Department of State (Washington, DC, USA) among others. Her solo exhibitions include "Our Mother Language" (2012, Jockey Club Creative Arts Center, Hong Kong) and "Silent Song" (2011, VSA Boston, USA) etc. Zhou Jiayi also participated in the following group exhibitions: "China-Korea Youth Art Exchange Exhibition" (2016, Members' Office Building, Seoul, Korea) and "A Vision that Smells of Soap" (2012, Gallaudet University, Washington DC, USA).

Alice Hu was born and raised in Shanghai. Xiaoshu (Alice) Hu attended elementary schools for the deaf and Shanghai Fine Arts University in her hometown. Her passion for the arts eventually took her to Vienna, Austria where she graduated in 2008 with an MA from the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna. Alice uses her international background and multiple sign languages both professionally and in the community to raise social awareness. She is presently employed as a coordinator/talent advisor for the development of innovative integration programs and awareness training at the myAbility Social Enterprise Company, presently working in educational project support for the deaf theater project at Burgtheater Vienna. She also volunteers in social media marketing for the World Federation of the Deaf supporting accessibility services for people with disabilities at events such as "Disability Confidence Day" hosted by myAbility Business Forum, the Zero Project Conference; TEDx Vienna, as well as many others. In addition to being an important contributor to accessibility from a practical and symbolic standpoint, Alice has also greatly raised the awareness of sign language interpretation.

About the curator:

Han Bo is a poet, artist, novelist, playwright and travel writer. Having graduated from Fudan University in China, he was an honorary writer at University of Iowa's writing program. Han Bo has published the Chinese poetry collection "borrowing deep heart" and "Temple of Arrival and Departure" as well the English poetry collection "The China Eastern Railway," Russian poetry collection "A banquet of knots," German poetry collection "China box" (collection), the novel "A life or suite with three bedrooms, one living room and one dining room", and several travelogues including "Following in the footsteps of Dionysus" and "Saints and Graffiti: Travel through heterotopia." Since 2017, supported by Bosch Foundation of Germany and Berlin Literature Association, he has been in residence in Germany several times to study contemporary painting. As a dramatist, he has set up EWOOD stage drama studio and produced more than ten drama works, such as "The chair doesn't know" and "The new classic of mountains and seas." As an artist, his works of painting, photography and installation have been included in many exhibitions in Shanghai, Hong Kong, Moscow and other places.

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