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"In the Eyes of the Beholder: Art by Ron J. Llanos, Erik M. Sandberg and Daniel H. Lim"
2006-09-09 until 2006-10-07
Bamboo Lane Gallery
Los Angeles, CA, USA United States of America

We invite three young male artists with backgrounds in illustrative technique and a familiarity with metaphysical narratives to participate in a dialogue with viewers about the things that they cherish dearly: women, children, the nurturing world, and challenging the blurred border between high art and popular illustration. The three artists: Daniel H. Lim, Ronald J. Llanos and Erik M. Sandberg were all academically trained at Art Center, Pasadena, CA. around the same period of time. Lim currently resides in New York City; Llanos and Sandberg are both live and work in Los Angeles.

Stubbornly believing in the aesthetic validation of sequential illustrations, Llanos has relentlessly portrayed women around him in comic art fashion: excited outlines of ink and pencil, filled with watercolor and acrylic to define the shades and a third dimension. These mostly voluptuous, energetic and whimsical women are the direct result of Llanos' painstaking observation and decisive improvisation. He carries a sketchbook with him everywhere he goes, like a fanatic photographer accompanying his camera. Llanos' works mimic the compositional conventions of the snapshot, injected with his vaguely cynical and largely humorous view of the world.

Lim returns to Bamboo Lane for the 2nd time with a recent body of work that he created in New York. The images of young women, children and fawns suggest a profound departure from the sentiment in his earlier drawings and paintings. The closer attention we pay to his work, the more we discover who the artist is. Lim, equipped with technical expertise, articulates about his own growth and healing through his intricate color pencil drawings of young women. No longer merely tender and delicate, the portraits have become full of decisiveness and liveliness over the years. Having spent a great deal of time with children in the community, Lim learns to illustrate the world through children's competent eye and to evince their vulnerability. The poetic concepts and the spiritual sense of lives being redeemed, restored and transformed remind us of Miyazaki's animated stories. To further appreciate Lim's evolution, we juxtapose three large cityscape paintings from the past, which record his previous psychological traumas and emotional struggles.

If Lim's art is about what the artist is becoming, Sandberg's art is about what has created the artist. To experience Sandberg's paintings is to listen to a prolific DJ sampling. Like Rauschenberg, Sandberg's art is haunted by his childhood memories and mythical allegories. All the elements in his paintings are conscious notes to the bigger arrangement. Sandberg was brought up in Minnesota with masculine traditions of deer hunting and ice fishing. His paintings heavily revolve around nature and exterior settings: primarily the landscape of Midwest. With his painterly brilliance, Sandberg places extreme highlights on the subject matter, and the work is often composed with the rendered figures and theatrical dynamics. The seemingly atmospheric and playful paintings conceal enormous tensions, which are often created by the conflicts within the unity of less linear narratives. Using colors and geometrical shapes, Sandberg challenges viewers to explore their deepest emotions and philosophical ideas by questioning the loss of tradition, examining personal relationships, searching for harmony within chaos, and praising devotion.

From Beijing to Los Angeles, the spectrum of contemporary Asian and Asian American arts has become more complex. Media, culture, globalization, and technology have inspired and shaped not only the content, but also the dissemination of art. Bamboo Lane Gallery is making every effort to exhibit paintings, videos, photography, performances, assemblages, sculptures and installations by Asian and Asian American artists, as well as by young emerging artists from Los Angeles. Symposia and forums will also be hosted periodically to bridge the communication between artists and gallery viewers.

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