UNFOLD Exhibition: Where visual art meets literature

Installation view | Photo courtesy of Yi Chin Hsieh

Hennessy Sepulveda | Staff Writer

Yi Chin Hseih’s UNFOLD exhibition takes guests on a journey to the “in-between.”

The UNFOLD Exhibition is a curatorial project created by fine art professional and FIU alumni, Yi Chin Hsieh at the Miami Beach Visual Arts Gallery.

The exhibition explores identity, absence and reconnection by focusing on the idea of a physical and conceptual distance between periods of one’s life and reconnection through the use of materials and space.

“Think of the physical distance between you and your hometown or the distance you have from your childhood,” said Hsieh.

Hsieh, born in Taiwan, graduated from FIU in 2020 with a Master Of Fine Arts in Visual Arts with a focus on curatorial methods and studies. Shewas always interested in playing with new methods of art curation.

Hsieh met Chicago-based artist and fellow curator Cristobal Alday attending an art critique workshop and was drawn to his approach to art writing and curating. 

Rather than writing traditionally used exhibition tags, Alday uses creative writing, especially poetry, to draw connections to works in a project.  

“We believe that these creative responses are great to weave the works together,” said Hsieh.

Alday partnered with Hsieh and two other artists, Amanda Linares and Jose Luis Garcia to display a smaller version of the exhibition in Tampa back in April of this year. 

After being given the chance to display at the Miami Beach Visual Arts Gallery, Hsieh recruited both Juan Molina Hernandez and Luna Palazzolo.

“I just hope that the visitors would leave with a narrative of in-betweenness, nostalgia and interconnection. The feeling of immigrants and families of immigrants,” said Linares, a Cuban-born visual artist based in Miami.

Orbits by Linares | Photo courtesy of Yi Chin Hsieh

Many guests were interested in one of the featured pieces by Linares, tilted Orbits

She explained that her art has evolved toward the exploration of materials and their relationships to the concepts in the different projects she takes on.

The UNFOLD exhibition proved to be the hardest for Linares, as she created handmade marbled paper and cut it into over 1,000 circles that she glued together to make a spherical, accordion-like book.

“Orbits seemed to be very welcomed because of their playfulness with shape and color,” Linares said.

Luna Palazzolo’s installation piece, Fragments of Heaven (almost nothing) draws its inspiration from the work of the trilingual French poet, translator and essayist Claude Esteban

Known for translating important pieces of literature between English, French and Spanish, Esteban spoke of experiencing a split consciousness by existing within multiple languages.  

Fragments of Heaven (almost nothing) by Palazzolo | Photo courtesy of Luna Palazzolo

“He compares this split of consciousness to an echo in an empty room, and to me personally, this echo in an empty room relates to my first encounter with death which was my grandmother’s death,” said Palazzolo.

Palazzolo’s piece references their grandmother’s house, where blue and white porcelain plates hung on the walls of her living room. This plate collection became a point of connection to Palazzolo’s distant nostalgia and desires and is emulated in their installation.

UNFOLD’s next event will take place on Oct. 19 as part of the Miami Beach Culture Crawl from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. The exhibition is currently open and free to the public until Oct. 27.

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