Karen Xu: Massive Power Ball

This exhibition runs Wednesday, September 21, 2022 through Friday, December 9, 2022

Karen Xu, 全力以赴, intaglio print, 2022


Opening Reception: Wednesday, September 21, 2022 at Noon
Celebrate the opening of the new exhibition Massive Power Ball by Karen Xu ’22 in the College of East Asian Studies Gallery at Mansfield Freeman Center. Refreshments will be provided following a talk by the curators and a walkthrough of the exhibition.

The recent work by Karen Xu is rooted in a close relationship to basketball. Growing up in China, Xu regularly played the game and watched broadcasts of the NBA. The past few years living in the U.S. have enabled Xu to gain a more complex understanding of her favorite pastime. In Massive Power Ball, Xu has created a character who may simultaneously be a surrogate for the artist, a basketball star, or the crowd of fans. Through animation and printmaking, Xu places that character in scenes that incorporate both communist propaganda and screenshots of basketball games. She inquires how basketball can be an arena for the clash and meditation of individual desire and collective force, extending the thrill of the game into her consideration of the dynamics of the China-U.S. relationship and Chinese Communist Party ideals. Xu’s playful criticality manifests in many different media including printmaking, collage, and video, embodying her basketball world of lighthearted fantasy within an uncompromising reality. This presentation marks the artist’s first institutional solo exhibition.

The College of East Asian Studies Gallery at Mansfield Freeman Center is curated by Associate Director of Visual Arts Benjamin Chaffee and Exhibitions Manager Rosemary Lennox.

Tuesday through Friday, Noon to 4pm
The gallery will also be open on Saturday, November 5, 2022 from Noon to 4pm for Wesleyan’s Homecoming and Family Weekend.
View the COVID-19 Safety Guidelines for the Center for the Arts.

Talk by Seth Berkman - Thursday, November 3, 2022 at 4:30pm

College of East Asian Studies, Wesleyan University
Mansfield Freeman Center for East Asian Studies
343 Washington Terrace, Middletown CT 06457

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Image credit: Karen Xu, 全力以赴, intaglio print, 2022.