Friday, September 16, 2016

Yang Yi and AAAC Staff 
Artist Yang Yi with local firemen

Ben Hom, firefighter who donated a talisman he found in the debris of 9/11 
Brenda Hom 

The Asian American Arts Centre presents “FIRST RESPONDERS”, a solo exhibition featuring the work of artist Yang Yi 杨亿. Presented in collaboration with Chinatown Soup and in partnership with Chinatown Partnership Local Development Corporation - CPLDC. This is a special exhibition to mark the anniversary of this moment in our nation’s history. AAAC is proud to present this body of work as both a commemoration and celebration of the American spirit embodied by all New Yorkers whose response to the events of that day will forever mark our national memory. It is fitting that as Americans we should find an immigrant whose remarkable skills and devotion gives to us the fruits of his heart and his labor.

Yi’s pentaptych took five years to complete, gives tribute to the brave members of the FDNY and paramedics, featuring all 343 faces of the first responders who were killed at the World Trade Center 15 years ago. Yi’s work has struck a chord with the firefighters who have previewed it, and the Asian American Arts Centre welcomes the opportunity to share his work with all New Yorkers, visitors to the city, and to the Asian American community.

About the Artist Yang Yi, 59, came to the United States from China in 1995 where he soon made a living drawing portraits in Central Park. Following the 9/11 terror attacks, many people would show Yang Yi photos of their loved ones who had lost their lives, asking him to create a portrait. In 2010, Yi saw a mural on the side of the Flushing firehouse that inspired him to paint a tribute of his own. Working out of his small apartment in Flushing, Queens, Yi took five years to create the five canvases presented. A portrait artist by trade, Yang had to care for his family while taking time off from his usual work to create a tableau of events and symbol’s from the city’s difficult days. Images of debris-covered survivors, the American flag flying above the wreckage, along with moving portraits of every individual face.

The exhibition is expected to travel later this year to Sumei Arts Center’s firehouse in Newark, NJ. Updates on all future events will be posted on AAAC’s social media outlets, including a link to a Kickstarter for this commemorative project.

Different Themes
Written by Lovely

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