The concept of “Hungry Ghosts” is common throughout many Asian cultures and religions. It typically refers to the lost spirit of a deceitful, jealous or greedy person or someone who died in a violent or unhappy way. These hungry ghosts roam the earth burdened by unmet needs, insatiable hungers, and intense desires often for a particular substance or object. Placating these ghosts often involves special ceremonies and offerings of fine food, “ghost money”, burning incense, and candles.
The Hungry Ghosts exhibition explores the ghosts of our individual and collective historical struggles and the ways they continue to haunt us today. In the era “after identity politics” when many have been quick to proclaim America as being “Post-Racial” or “Post-Feminist”, we have seen the specters of unresolved struggles with racism, sexism, homophobia, and economic inequities re-emerge into public consciousness in both overtly violent and subtle ways. Illuminating these shape-shifting specters (and their illusive progeny) of historical struggles, the artists in this exhibition will serve as mediums for our Hungry Ghosts.