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Head to Toe

Head to Toe

Joe Bun Keo

February 13 - April 8, 2015

Artist's Statement

Being Asian-American is a "mixed blessing". Despite my rich heritage, I experience cultural taboos and faux pas daily. My nationality is American, my ethnicity is Cambodian (Khmer), yet I speak a dialect of Thai, but I can't read or write Khmer or Thai. English is the only language that I can comfortably utilize, but I still don't feel accepted as an American. Learning English was one of the most difficult things growing up. Silent letters, homonyms, idioms, slang, SMS text-talk and other facets of the contemporary vernacular are so complex.

The phrase "head to toe" implies a sense of completion, a sense of a whole; something that I've been trying to attain in regards to my cultural identity.

I use this adversary relationship with foreign tongues as the inspiration behind my work. There's just conflict; a perpetual tension that I wish to showcase. I hope the results will manifest in clear presentations of my trials and tribulations of ironically verbalizing my life as an Asian-American.

"Head to toe" also implies two points. "Point A" is the head and "Point B", are the feet. The head is the most sacred part of the human body in Southeast Asian culture. The feet are considered the most vulgar. It represents two extremes.

This exhibition will explore both of the title's meanings in the form of installation, sculptural and conceptual works.

Opening Reception

Please join us on Friday, February 13 from 6:00 - 8:00 p.m. to celebrate this new exhibition in the ArtWalk at Hartford Public Library, located in the heart of the city at 500 Main Street.

About the ArtWalk

ArtWalk at Hartford Public Library offers one of the largest and most stunning exhibition spaces in greater Hartford and the opportunity for visitors to view art in a magnificent setting in their own community.  The state-of-the art gallery rises above Main Street along a glass wall that floods the space with ambient light during the day and appears to glow as a jewel box at night. Exhibitions offer an array of art experiences that reflect a variety of media, styles, and cultures in the art world, providing diverse viewing experiences, and allowing for many tastes.  Because of the unusual cable system in place, one of the most unique aspects of the ArtWalk is that any wall and lighting configuration or arrangement can change with the nature of every new exhibition.  The ArtWalk is made possible through the generosity of donors, especially the Beatrice Fox Auerbach Foundation Fund at Hartford Foundation for Public Giving.