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In August of 2021, Key Elements launched the Gallery, an exhibition space dedicated to showcasing talented emerging artists and presenting work online.

 

For each month, we invite an artist and curate a solo exhibition for them on our platform. The work we feature not only shows competency in both meaning and making but also represents the diverse cultures and backgrounds of the artist community. To this day, we have invited artists working in sculpture, design objects, print media, architecture, visual communication, fashion design, photography, and new media art.

 

To celebrate our journey, here we present to you the first-anniversary exhibition of Key Elements, featuring artists who had exhibitions with us over the past year: Lisha Chen, Madeleine Aguilar, Ning Ding, Hurrot Hu, Milly Huang, Kai Hough, Woo Yeon Kim.

Their Tombstones
Are Next to Each Other 

01

Artist Lisha Chen  /  Medium Photograph  /  Year 2022 

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We forgive the unforgivable every day. 

The unforgivable is forgiven every day. 

 

I made two tombs.

 

One is for an anonymous killed by the system,

And another is for a wild deer killed by my accompany.

 

Then I buried them together.

我们每天都在原谅不可原谅的事情。

不可饶恕的事情也每天都在被饶恕。

 

我做了两个墓碑:

 

一个是给那些被系统杀死的无名的人

另一个是被我最好的同伴杀死的野生鹿。

 

我把它们合葬在了一起。

Models for Everyday Use 

02

Artist Madeleine Aguilar  /  Medium Interactive Installation 10'x10'  /  Year 2022 

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Models for Everyday Use is a series of exercises in redesigning my environment using found materials & collected objects.

 

I tell stories, build archives, map spaces, construct furniture, record histories, organize data, catalog objects, print publications, create frameworks, collect imagery, learn trades, tie knots, repurpose materials, imitate structures, utilize chance, play instruments, follow intuition, prompt participation, guide observation, leave evidence, develop routines, take walks, break habits, and make lists. Using the archive as form, I acknowledge the passing of time by cataloging lived spaces, collected objects, familial histories, personal relationships, natural phenomena, mundane routines, and ephemeral moments.

models for everyday (mobile music maker ii)
models for everyday (mobile music maker ii)

Found instruments, wood, clamps, cotton rope, and chair legs, 40”x 32”x 20” An instrument designed to provide space for two people to have a conversation through sound, regardless of musical ability. It was constructed during my residency at Compound Yellow in Oak Park, IL using found objects and materials I gathered there.

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models for everyday use (doorbell)
models for everyday use (doorbell)

Steel pipe, nylon mason line, and wooden mallet, 8”x 2.5”x 1” A multiple containing a handmade chime, a mallet, and a booklet of scores. Score #7 reads “Use in place of a misplaced object”. Edition of 12.

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songs for trees
songs for trees

Reclaimed wood and plywood, 20”x 24”x 30” An index of the sounds of various types of local trees. Species include Pine, Douglas Fir, White Oak, Hackberry, Sassafras, Walnut, Maple, Poplar, Cherry, Honey Locust, and Ash.

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models for everyday (mobile music maker ii)
models for everyday (mobile music maker ii)

Found instruments, wood, clamps, cotton rope, and chair legs, 40”x 32”x 20” An instrument designed to provide space for two people to have a conversation through sound, regardless of musical ability. It was constructed during my residency at Compound Yellow in Oak Park, IL using found objects and materials I gathered there.

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Pachamama 

03

Artist Ning Ding  /  Medium Wearable Device  /  Year 2022 

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In the belief world of Peruvians, Pachamama is both a mountain and a mother earth, giving birth to the natural rising and falling of the moon.

Generous, gentle, harmonious.

 

Just as everyone has their own name, so do mountains. Walk over each individual hill that is embraced by the waters of the Amazon.

Mountains and people, in which we go over and read.

 

Our perspective floats on the surface of the water, often ignoring the potential under the river, and the peaks have always been a piece of land.

 

If you think of such an independent mountain as everyone's seemingly different memories and experiences.

In this sense of independence, 

There is also a river of blindness that will make us habitually ignore it. Consciousness and consciousness are actually connected by mountains and seas.

Pachamama is an interactive wearable device that allows multiple people to wear a mountain-shaped hood, sharing a river shape brim of the hat. The brim will allow the wearer to passively hold the head at a specific distance, limiting the independent movement of each individual. 

After some kind of communication, moving in one direction at the same time can achieve the purpose of moving.

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Utopia Space

04

Artist Hurrot Hu  /  Medium Visual Communication  /  Year 2020

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This project is an individual project, without any commercial attributes, the content is to choose an artist you want to exhibit in the Tate Museum and design a complete set of visual designs for Tate. I think BIG is an architectural design direction that integrates business, art, and practicality. That's why I named this exhibition Utopia. I expressed it in different colors in the main visual according to the proportion of building types. At the same time, I made the key visual dynamic, because I think the role of architectural space is not completely separated. That's why all the shapes are blurry and constantly changing, which is also my understanding of architectural space. The pattern on each ticket is different. Because in the context of contemporary social tours, tickets are actually very important souvenirs. When everyone gets a different ticket, they will be curious about the exhibition content on other tickets, which can make the ticket itself play a greater role.

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My Body Feels It

05

Artist Milly Huang  /  Medium Fashion Design  /  Year 2022 

The title of this project is called My Body Feels It. The overall concept is Forgive Yourself, Accept Your Body, which is a real topic of life for myself. Years ago, especially during the Covid time, I was much influenced by the photos on the internet. More and more people started to share their tough discipline of daily exercises and the photo of their perfect body shape. At the sametime, I am the kind of person who is strict on myself and always thinks I am not good enough. Therefore I had tough exercises which made me feel not only painful, but also very stressful before getting into them. Also I barely eat everyday. After a few months, I was physically and mentally sick. It is so painful that, now, I want to let everyone, including myself know that, we are all not perfect, and we never would be, but we should forgive that. Therefore, I created this project and collection.

 

Many formal choices in the designs are related to my ideas. In the collection of garments, I created some tight silhouettes to represent the ideal body shape, as well as the way people try to fit in the small fancy clothes. At the same time there are many loose and huge shapes of garments for presenting the comfortable feeling when people accept their body.

The fabrics in skin-like-colors are a reminder that everyone is involved in this topic, while other vivid bright colors are metaphors of enjoying and cherishing. Combining these elements, I wish the audience will see the comfort, confidence and cherish through the collection. Also most of the fabrics are soft, light and skin friendly, therefore both the audience and wearer would see and feel the comfort in garments.

 

The concept is not only about the anxiety of appearance, but also about forgiving and accepting oneself’s imperfection. When I was creating the mood board and color board, the scene in my mind is that, after a long day of work, I took a shower and put on the most comfortable gown. I lay on my soft sofa, lit the candle in the dim room, and had a piece of triple berry cake. My body parts are touching and pushing each other gently but I don’t care about anything at this moment.

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A Beautiful View

06

Artist Kai Hough  /  Medium Photograph  /  Year 2022 

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Before I believed in not believing in

I inhale, who believed in me not breathing in?

I remember listening to the preacher 

Telling me to reach out for a prayer 

Wore my feelings on my sleeveless

Wondering one day if I’ll meet Jesus

 

Daydreaming, but more like still dreaming 

Of one day leaving the ghetto screaming 

Institutionalized a drop of vapor rub on my chest and sin 

Waking up to reality and starting this again

 

Wishing to kiss my grandma’s cheek one more time

To tell her the serendipity of her words 

To hold the tears and cry

 

Grew up hungry, 

Just not that thirsty

A language in the chest

And all my words just mean controversy

 

Stressing, pulling my hair out, hoping I don't get picked

All this medicine in me, hoping I get sick

Hoping they come to my funeral and find it appealing 

As they singing prayers breaking the ceiling 

 

But damn, what a beautiful view

I think love is beautiful, too

When I should’ve kept my ass in school

Jesus still think I'm good enough

I wish I could be enough and equal to you

 

Damn what a beautiful view

I think love is beautiful 

 

Damn what a beautiful view 

I think you are beautiful

Brain Chambers

07

Artist Woo Yeon Kim  /  Medium Digital Artwork /  Year 2021

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I have a few interviews with game design spots. Ultimately, I want to teach in my older life. My plan is to learn industry skills first and then be able to provide that for conceptual students. Therefore, they have the technology and they know how to use it for their own creative ideas, not for someone else's video game or for someone else’s motion graphics. The preferred direction is that while I'm building the industry skills, I want to continue to be a practicing artist to maintain that industry technical skill and conceptual balance. But you know, I'm kind of okay with whatever happens at this point. Everything will work out the way that it's supposed to. I really believe it. 

My dad taught for a while and I also enjoy teaching.I had really small teaching jobs here and there. It's because I see a huge gap in 3D modeling and just the tech world in general. On one side there are people who are technically amazing: They know the workflow. They know how to make things up, but they don't understand why they're making it. They just make whatever they're told. On the other side of the spectrum are people, like SAIC students, who conceptually have so many good thoughts and creative ideas, but they don't know the technology. As a student that kind of exists in between, I personally had to do a lot of self research and self-teaching to navigate through it. As an educator, I want to be able to provide both and give students the options of both routes. Instead of drawing a line between “okay I'm keeping it clean and I don't like conceptual” people or “I'm a conceptual person and I can learn from a technical person”.

CURATOR: KE ZHANG, WANTONG YAO

EDITOR: WANTONG YAO, KE ZHANG, CHENYU LIN

GRAPHIC DESIGNER: YUXUAN WEI