Site-Specific Installations within and beyond Institutional Walls
October 10 (Indigenous Peoples' Day) - December 9, 2016
Street level window installation with a lightbox, video and window vinyls; 20 ft. x 12 ft.
Lenapeway was a street-level installation that realigns the spine of New York – Broadway – with its Indigenous heritage given it was, and continues to be, part of a matrix of Indigenous pathways that connected Manhattan to the Greater Northeast Region of North America.
The windows features life-sized images of majestic mùxulhemënshi, the Lenape name for tulip trees (liriodendron tulipifera), which were fashioned into the dugout canoes that Lenape used to meet, negotiate, and trade along coastal rivers and waters. Also featured is a digital reconstruction of pre-colonial Manaháhtaan created by the Mannahatta Project, led by Bronx Zoo’s Wildlife Conservation Society ecologist Eric Sanderson. This reconstruction outlines the extensive network of trails that exemplify how the Lenape people sustainably managed the land prior to colonization. By revealing the original map of the region, Lenapeway aims to encourage present-day New Yorkers to imagine themselves along the Lenape trail while spurring a new consciousness of the land.
This project was created by artist Beatrice Glow and The Wayfinding Project at the Asian/Pacific/American Institute at NYU. To enrich the installation, Glow and The Wayfinding Project partnered with NYU Grounds Manager George Reis to create an hour-long tour of NYU’s native plant gardens.
Installation with acrylic painting and decal collage on ceramics, ink on paper, scent. Dimensions variable.
Installation view at Sunroom Project Space, Wave Hill, Bronx, NY
This installation was a sensory feast of sight and smell referencing 17th century Spice Wars whe. Botanical, cartographic, and archival imagery depicting colonial atrocities were embedded into tableware that mimicked Delftware—blue-and-white pottery made in the Netherlands that were influenced by the importation of luxurious Chinese porcelain during the Age of Discovery. This reappropriation of chinoiserie reveals complex underpinnings of trade. Golden nutmeg-like forms exuded scents of colonial commerce.
The work was created through a research into archival images of colonial architecture and Spice War atrocities. Terracotta objects shaped like nutmegs were scented with peppery notes inspired by colonial commerce. Below the vitrines are cartographic ink drawings of Rhun and Manhattan. These plates depict a ripe nutmeg still enveloped in mace, its "placenta." The border of the plates depict volcanic imageries as first seen by Dutch traders when approaching the islands.
August 2016 | Installation view at Mall Sala Vespucio as part of the Museo Sin Muros initiative of Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes de Chile, Santiago de Chile
As shopping malls are the new cultural centers, Beatrice Glow created a fake perfume boutique in a shopping mall that revealed how plants shaped world history by connecting the founding myths of the Americas to the search for spices. The portmanteau Aromérica is a combination of "aroma" and "America," thus highlighting that the foundation of the Americas is based in the search for spices.
In the exhibition, an aromatic archive included “eau de Colón” (Cologne) which is a play on the Spanish pronunciation of Columbus; “Blanc Le Colonial” (Colonial White) was nauseatingly sugary; “El Picante” (The Spicy) references “El Dorado” and shocked with sharp notes of nutmegs and cloves; and “Oro Negro” (Black Gold) was Malabar pepper. The project equated conquistadores to spice hunters and underlined a parallel between how the imaginary, systemic violence and smell are invisible yet omnipresent.
Site-specific installation at the James B. Duke House for Spice Roots/Routes
On view March 21-October 27, 2017
Spice Roots/Routes was an installation of a series of digital prints on silk that each highlight a plants -- black pepper, nutmeg, tobacco, poppies -- that were intertwined with the histories of colonial mercantilism. Trade routes like the Manila-Acapulco Galleon Trade ferried spices, silks, and other luxury goods from China and the Philippines to Spain via Mexico. Polygenetic objects like the manton de Manila, an embroidered silk shawl made in China and the Philippines that became a fashion staple among wealthy women in South America and Spain, expose these networks of influence. Glow’s Spice Route series takes compositional cues from popular manton de Manila embroidery patterns, navigating between and beyond individual cultural traditions.
In 1890, the pursuit of intoxicating aromatic plants produced another kind of empire: the American Tobacco Company. James B. Duke’s tobacco conglomerate dominated the American market and worked extensively with distributors in the United Kingdom and East Asia before being ordered by the Supreme Court to dissolve in 1911, having run afoul of the Sherman Antitrust Act. In 1909, Duke and his wife, Nanaline, commissioned the architect Horace Trumbauer to design a mansion on New York's Fifth Avenue. Financed by the proceeds of the lucrative tobacco trade, the Duke House was an especially fitting site for Glow’s work, a meditation on the intersection of luxury, intoxication, and commerce.
September 6-October 3, 2014 | Social Sculpture | Aboard the Lilac Museum Steamship berthed at Pier 25, Hudson River Park, New York, NY
Floating Library was a one-month temporary autonomous zone aboard a steamship. Art installations, books, and manifestoes were on view. Over seventy volunteers, artists, visionaries and 4,000 visitors convened around roundtables and workshops that shone a spotlight on reclaiming public space, environmental concerns, and community engagement. Set under open skies for fearless dreaming, the main deck became a reading lounge with shelves and seating made from pallets. Art installations, books, artist publications, and manifestoes were on view.A Floating Library highlight event was “We All Live Downstream,” a participatory voyage initiated by Mare Liberum and 350.org that disembarked onboard after three-weeks traveling on paper boats to network climate change activists. The project culminated with a visit from South Bronx high school students that received the gift of reading.
A Floating Library highlight event was “We All Live Downstream,” a participatory voyage initiated by Mare Liberum and 350.org that disembarked onboard after three-weeks traveling on paper boats to network climate change activists. This photo documents an intervention on the ship where we held up lighted letters to form the message. This was created in collaboration with the Light Brigade.
June 16, June 23 and June 30, 2012
Sculptural Installation, video projection mapping and a series of curated performance aboard the Lilac Museum Steamship berthed at Pier 25, Hudson River Park, New York, NY
See more here
Multiplatform project including an itinerant museographic installation, performance lectures, artist book and video art
Editing, concept and camera by Beatrice Glow, production was made possible with the support of the Fulbright Commission, Colectivo Zoom and Vasco Pimentel
In 2007, I retraced the geography of nineteenth-century Chinese coolie labor in Peru. En route I resurrected memories from cemeteries, guano mines on the Chincha Islands, coastal sugar and rice plantations, and railroads that led into the Andes, until I arrived by canoe to El Chino in the Amazonian Rainforest, where no Chinese live. I conducted oral history interviews with Chinese-Peruvian elders as I retraced coolie geography.
In the spirit of migration, I condensed the one-year performance of retracing the escape route of the Chinese coolie into an itinerant museum that traveled to various South American cultural and educational institutions featuring an archive of objects and papers collected from the journey. Through the format of a performance lecture, I delve into the historical realities of Asian migration to Peru by dissecting the folk etymology of “chino.” There is a plethora of ways to use the word “chino” (Chinese) in colloquial Spanish that range from orange juice, marijuana, curly blondes, children, a gaucho’s wife, a person with indigenous physical characteristics, fifty cents to several Peruvian ex-presidents. These stories are also told through a trilingual (Spanish, English, Chinese) artist book Taparaco Myth.
This is a photo of Iquitos-based Isabel Shashui de Liao and her husband Jorge Liao Estrella whose Chinese father almost sent him to China to train as a suicide pilot. Other stories I remember include Alfonso Shiokey Leon Jho recounting the horror of Chinese workers getting stirred alive into boiling animal fat in a soap factory, Marco Farfán revealing a Chinese grandmother in his Afro-Peruvian lineage, to Señor Antonio Ching-Wong entrusting me to locate his uncle’s grave for him.