For her first solo museum exhibition, San Diego-based artist Andrea Chung presents a new immersive installation together with selected drawings and collages that explore legacies of colonialism and migration. Chung’s research-based practice finds surprising intersections between materials, processes, and places, often examining the histories of the Caribbean island nations.
The artist’s new installation is composed of numerous cyanotype prints of lionfish, a non-native species that has proliferated recently in the Caribbean, destroying the local ecosystem. With their cyan-blue color, the prints conjure a fantastic underwater world, while offering a potent allegory for colonization, as the invasive lionfish reshape their environment according to their own needs. Chung arrived at the cyanotype process through her interest in early photographic histories of Jamaica. Indeed, her collages have often combined late-19th century photographs of laborers with contemporary tourism materials, underscoring the persistence of Jamaica’s colonial history in its present-day economy.
You broke the ocean in half to be here features Chung’s collages and a related video animation, all of which evidence the artist’s longtime concern with the visibility of labor.
Credit: Exhibition overview from museum website.