The ArtsCenter presents Jan-Ru Wan’s Unspeakables, May 1-26, 2022. “Women’s voices have often been overlooked, ignored, dismissed and silenced throughout history and in many cultures all over the world… The objects in these works, however, are meant to elevate and amplify the voices of all the women and others who have been silenced” -Jan-Ru Wan. The Opening reception, featuring Sisters’ Voices, a choral community of girls, takes place May 13th at 7 p.m. at the ArtsCenter.
This reception is free and open to the public.
In my three-decade art career, materials have played an important role in my installations. As an introverted child who rarely spoke in public, I found my voice through making things and presenting objects as metaphors, which became the vocabulary of my art. In this exhibition, I use various materials to address a range of human experience, such as, longing, abandonment, loss, constraint, chaos and horror.
In my work, “Lost Footing,” I include dyed, printed and hand sewn silk organza; armrests from discarded theater seats; and various objects collected from dumpsters, streets, and my archives to address the state of chaos and displacement created through man-made or natural disasters. I orchestrate and finalize the entire work during installation in the gallery.
Women’s voices have often been overlooked, ignored, dismissed and silenced throughout history and in many cultures all over the world. In my series, “ Whispers” and “ song Without Words”, the subtle embroidered text on the translucent collars is easy to overlook, making it a visual representation of women’s voices not being heard or dismissed. The muted bells and fragile ceramic spoons symbolize the voices that have been represented or forced into silence. These works embody the repression and violence that are often committed in order to keep women submissive and silent. The objects in these works, however are meant to elevate and amplify the voices of all the women and others who have been silenced. Their voices exist through the objects’ materials presence and we can feel the resilience of the feminine weather spoken out loud or present in silence.