Press Release

Exhibition curated by Pam Douglas

September 24 - October 19, 2019
Reception: Saturday, September 28, 5-8 PM

TAG Gallery is proud to present Arrivals, an exhibition curated by Pam Douglas featuring three artists she admires: Narsiso Martinez, Fabian Debora, Ching Ching Chen. Their exhibit is concurrent with Douglas’ Sanctuary installation and conveys some related themes. Arrivals echoes experience as a farm-worker in Martinez’s drawings and constructions, in a gang-ridden community in Debora’s paintings and murals, and adapting to a foreign culture in Ching’s video.  

Born in Oaxaca, Mexico, the large drawings and mixed media installations by Narsiso Martinez include multi-figure compositions in agricultural landscapes. He says: “Drawn from my own experiences as a farmworker, I pay homage to the people who toil in the fields picking the produce we consume. In an attempt to highlight their plight, my curiosity for materials led me to discover that an effective way to add context to the figures was to portray them on discarded produce boxes collected from grocery stores. This allows me to reflect upon the disparities of socioeconomic lifestyles, that of the farmworkers and agribusiness owners.”  

Paintings by Fabian Debora reflect social issues and journeys through cultural identity and urban aesthetics. A native of Boyle Heights, Debora uses his personal lived experience as a central part of his work. Early in his path as an artist, in 1996, he was sent to Rome to represent Los Angeles artists on behalf of Homeboy Industries. He says “after meeting Luis J. Rodriguez, whose bestselling novel Always Running spoke profoundly to my own experiences with gang life, I painted a mural titled Lost Angels on an exterior street wall in the center of Rome.” Numerous mural commissions followed throughout East and South LA, and he worked for Homeboy Industries as a counselor and art teacher. Debora says he “made a choice to embrace the beauty within his community as the esthetics and subject matter in his works of art.”

 Ching Ching Cheng was born in Taiwan and immigrated to the United States in 2002. Her many exhibits include the Chinese American Museum, Craft and Folk Art Museum, and solo exhibitions in Taiwan and China. She received grants from the art and cultural center in Taiwan, and in 2018 from the city of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs. She says: “I am interested in the relationship between identities and spaces. The physical environment and location, along with the cultural, social, economic and political aspects of space fascinate me. In my own practice, I question how identities are defined through space, and what the notion and ideology of identity means in relation to space.” 

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