Gerald Pryor’s "Transasia Stacks" February 10 - March 5, 2016
With this series Pryor addresses the issue of trans or inter culturalism in which the presence of a multiple aesthetic and perspective determines the visible outcome. By examining this theme Pryor hopes to witness the unknown aspects of Chinese culture. By offsetting this culture against the American, he points out the more obvious differences and similarities in order to ascertain their make-up. To Pryor both locations hold great personal meaning. He depicts specific areas of Sag Harbor, New York next to the Chinese cities of Shanghai, Tianjin, Beijing that he has continuously visited since 1986.
The Transasia Stacks series comprises 27x40” digital photographic prints in editions of three. One of the most poignant of these contains the rutted snowy landscape of Sag Harbor superimposed by an image of a Guanyin in typical flowing robes with a flame nimbus in place of a halo. Pryor’s work offsets the earthly and the divine in an image of great beauty and transparency. The snowy background in its nebulous shape is juxtaposed against the circular pale blue circular shape in which the Guanyin is situated. So that, there exists a type of push/pull between shapelessness and structure, materiality and transparency, solid and void much like the yin and yang of the Daodejing.
Pryor’s relationship to his surroundings is a key concept that colors his world to a great extent. He lives in the midst of Manhattan yet in his free time he seeks tranquility and peace in Sag Harbor, Long Island. His meditative imagery is analogous to the Daoist ethical path that was echoed by Walt Whitman’s pantheism in the late 19th Century. This philosophy embraces the idea that all life, even the seemingly inert, is imbued with spirit. Daoism has been embedded in Chinese history and tradition for many centuries and Pryor parallels its concepts by according the landscape respect.
Pryor’s Transasia Stacks photographic combinations result in imaginary places that because they are of his own making are situated beyond concrete places like Asia or America.
Curated by: Thalia Vrachopoulos