Mel Chin: High Low and In Between

A grapevine of basketballs ornaments the façade of the Asheville Art Museum, signaling the arrival of Mel Chin’s much-anticipated exhibit. Known internationally for his sculptural installations and community-based projects that integrate issues of social identity, ecology, science and activism, Chin is an artist who defies aesthetic categorization. High Low and In Between is the first time he has shown locally.

Exhibited at the museum are several sculptures merging militaristic content with cultural identity, and the full installation of The Funk & Wag from A to Z — a collection of 524 collages, compiled from nearly every image that could be extracted from the pages of 25 volumes of The Universal Standard Encyclopedia, 1953-56, by Wilfred Funk, Inc.

“[The installation] is an upgraded re-contextualization of visual information,” says Chin. “Here, all types of idiosyncratic messages are the vehicles for my expression.” High Low and In Between represents a very narrow sliver of Chin’s extensive oeuvre, albeit it an alluring one. Opening reception is Friday, Aug. 3. 5-7 p.m.

Image: “Temple of the New Gods,” at the Nave Museum in Victoria, Tex. Image courtesy of the Artist.

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