Those wandering with wine glasses and intrigued eyes crowded the Wang Center on the evening of Wednesday, Sept. 9 for the fall exhibitions opening reception.
All throughout the Wang Center, a cultivation of Asian culture in the forms of stories and different art forms are displayed.
Christine Marzano, the collections manager at the Long Island Museum, attended the reception and was pleasantly surprised by the Wang Center’s new appearance.
“There are interesting pieces and interesting stories and narratives,” she said. “I really like it.”
The opening reception featured a talk by Vanessa Gould, a documentary filmmaker whose film, “Between the Folds,” was shown at the opening reception.
Origami has a major play this semester at the center and at the reception. Not only does “Between The Folds” explore origami, but there is also origami in various forms hanging all around the center. The artists and volunteers also walked around with origami name tags and there will be origami workshops later in the semester.
“The film explores origami, but more deeply,” Gould said. “The philosophical and metaphorical underpinnings of a pretty fundamental art and the way it uses the notion of transformation as a central principle, which I feel we can apply to our lives and our work.”
Gould said she has been looking at different origami exhibits for ten years. What she finds is that the art and artists have evolved so much. She said every time she goes to an origami exhibit, she sees new names.
“Every five years it is radically different than the last five years,” she said. “You can see that in this exhibit.”
The walls of the Wang Center are home to many different shapes and forms of origami and the center will be holding origami workshops on Sept. 16.
Another unique exhibit is the “Explore History Objects From Asia” exhibit, which features donated objects from students and faculty here at Stony Brook. Shakeera Thomas, the Chapter Assistant of United University Professions at Stony Brook, was proud to display her grandmother’s masala brick, which is an ancient cooking tool used to make masala bread. Many guests can relate to this bread because it comes from their own cultures and their own family traditions.
Thomas said that many people know how to eat the bread, but she wants to teach people how to make it.
She takes pride in her grandmother’s tool that was passed down to her. The text on the wall next to the brick tells the tale of Thomas’ grandmother, who came to this country in 1976 with a brick balanced on her head as she entered the airplane. This is a prized possession in her family that was instrumental in keeping traditions alive.
“I want to teach the whole world to make this bread,” Thomas said. “It is a dying art and the younger generation, they just know how to eat it. If I could teach it to the younger generation they would absolutely really appreciate it.”
This year’s fall set-up offers a lot of diversity and pieces that students have not seen before.
One of the Wang Center’s goals is to show students things that they are not always familiar with. Jinyoung Jin, the associate director of Cultural Programs at the Wang Center, said she is really excited for this year because there is something for everybody to enjoy.