Fall 2019 Lectures
Spring 2019 Lectures
Artist and playwright Jaime Sunwoo will discuss the history of the canned meat product SPAM and its significance in the history and cuisine of the Asia-Pacific. She will examine SPAM’s popularity in Korea, the Philippines, Okinawa, Guam, and Hawaii from its introduction during World War II and the Korean War. She will discuss her working process creating Specially Processed American Me, a performance and workshop series that uses SPAM to reflect on her Korean American upbringing, as well as share her family’s accounts of the Korean War and inspire conversations about war, colonization, immigration, and class. Sunwoo will also read a selection of stories collected from her community workshops. Attendees are welcome to submit their own SPAM-related stories and recipes.
Presented with partial support from the SBU Center for Korean Studies.
About the Speaker
Jaime Sunwoo is a Korean American multidisciplinary artist from Brooklyn, New York. She combines video, audio, sculpture, and storytelling to create sensory performances in galleries, theaters, and public spaces. Her works are part playful, part tragic, and often examine food as a way to discuss identity, history, and death. She studied art at Yale University and is an alum of the Laundromat Project for socially engaged art. Her site-specific projects include The Creature at the DUMBO Arts Festival and interactive bar installation Earshot. She has collaborated with Whoop Dee Doo and has appeared on PBS's Art21. Her public works have been presented by STooPS Art Crawl and Art in Odd Places. Her current ongoing project, Specially Processed American Me, was shown at the OYE! Avant Garde Festival at JACK, the FailSafe Festival, the Asian American Arts Alliance, Gallery Madison Park, the Open Source Gallery, and the Brooklyn Arts Exchange, and it is currently in development through Leviathan Lab. Her website is jaimesunwoo.com.
Among the vibrant examples of public art found in the towns and villages of India and Pakistan, the most popular are religious posters and calendars depicting deities, saints, and places of worship. Along with iconography of Hindu deities, a large number of Islamic posters that portray the shrines at Mecca and Medina or Quranic verses in calligraphy are also available, displayed beside portraits of local Sufi saints and their tombs, miracles, and other folklore.
Unhindered depiction of Sufi portraits in this popular culture often disrupts the stereotype of Islam’s iconoclasm and reveals nuanced sentiments of popular Muslim piety. These popular portraits and media also attract devotees to Hindu or Sufi shrines, despite such cultural hybridization being increasingly frowned upon by many Muslims influenced by puritanical Wahhabi ideology. Interestingly, Muslim artists or publishers do not necessarily produce all popular Islamic images. The publishing industry in South Asia doesn’t distinguish between the identities of the producers and consumers of these images, and by and large continues to remain largely syncretic.
This lecture by Yousuf Saeed features examples of popular visuality and rituals associated with Sufis and their shrines through images and videos. Two short documentary films, Basant (12 minutes) and Jannat ki Rail (7 minutes), will also be shown.
About the Speaker
Yousuf Saeed is a Delhi-based independent filmmaker and writer who currently manages Tasveer Ghar: A Digital Archive of South Asian Popular Visual Culture. Saeed has produced TV programs (like Turning Point on Indian TV network Doordarshan) and documentary films, including Basant, Khayal Darpan, Jannat ki Rail, and Khusrau Darya Prem ka, and has written for the Times of India, Marg, and other periodicals. He has researched and documented South Asia’s popular Islamic art and heritage, authoring a richly illustrated volume, Muslim Devotional Art in India (2017). Saeed has made lecturing and screening tours in the United States, Europe, and Southeast Asia. His website is http://yousufsaeed.com.
From Mecca to Sufi Shrines: Islamic Poster Art from South Asia
March 13 through May 5, 2019
Charles B. Wang Center Skylight Gallery
Wednesday, March 27, 2019 @ 2 PM
Tour of the Simons Center Art Gallery, the University Libraries Special Collections, the Charles B. Wang Center, and the Zuccaire Gallery.
Reception will follow at the Zuccaire Gallery.
Stony Brook University hosts a variety of renowned art galleries that provide unique spaces and opportunities for cultural and artistic exchanges and collaborations. Our art crawls unite our university’s galleries through a series of free, guided tours led by expert curators. This initiative directly supports the university’s commitment to celebrating diversity and promotes the university’s place in the global community. Each art crawl will offer tours of three to four galleries, visiting each for about 30 minutes, before ending with a reception.
The Charles B. Wang Center will offer a tour of the current exhibit, The Studio: Through a Surrealistic Lens, at 3 PM.
2:00 PM Simons Center Art Gallery
2:30 PM University Libraries Special Collections
3:00 PM Charles B. Wang Center
3:30 PM Zuccaire Gallery and Reception
The Studio: Through a Surrealistic Lens
Charles B. Wang Center Theatre Gallery