Coyote Park, “Morning After” Tee Park & Coyote Park, October 2020, various sizes. Courtesy the artist.
Jun 04 - Aug 01, 2021
CHOSEN: A group exhibition celebrating queer kinship.
Throughout history, queer people have transcended biological and social norms to redefine family. Too often discarded by our own kinfolk, or in search of deep bonds elsewhere, we seek refuge in the comfort of our peers. These chosen families reinvent roles of support, teaching, and kinship—reshaping legal definitions of parenting and marriage, and transforming established notions of sex, romance, partnership, care-giving, and all relationships for queer and non-queer people alike.
The eight artists participating in CHOSEN depict moments of everyday love and intimacy shared within chosen families. Amid the social and systemic barriers and constrictions of cis-heteronormativity, these images remind us that our beauty, strength, and trust is a force for remaking the world.
The artworks will be on display at the Museum as part of a rotational exhibition: Coyote Park and Clifford Prince King (on view June 4-13) Groana Melendez and Golden (on view June 18-27), Alexis Ruiseco-Lombera and Myles Loftin (on view July 2-11), Mengwen Cao and Ka-Man Tse (on view July 16-August 1).
Limited edition prints are for purchase HERE. Proceeds will be shared between the participating artists and the Leslie-Lohman Museum of Art.
CHOSEN is presented in partnership with TRNK Editions.
About the Artists:
Mengwen Cao is a photographer, artist and cultural organizer. Born and raised in China, they are currently based in New York, United States. As a queer immigrant, they use care and tenderness to explore the spaces between race, gender, and cultural identity. As a board member of Authority Collective and a founding member of Chinese Storytellers, Cao is championing diverse narratives and perspectives in the media industry.
Their projects have been featured in publications like The New York Times, The New Yorker, NPR, Neocha. They have participated in exhibitions like Photoville, Jimei Arles, Lianzhou Foto Festival. They were selected as one of the six global talents in Asia by World Press Photo's 6x6 program in 2020. They received NLGJA’s Excellence in Photojournalism Award in 2019. They were recognized by The Lit List in 2018 and PDN 30 New and Emerging Photographers to Watch in 2019.
Golden (they/them) is a black gender nonconforming trans-femme photographer, poet, educator, & community organizer raised in Hampton, VA (Kikotan land), currently residing in Boston, MA (Mashpee, Wampanoag, and Massachusett people land). Their work documents the intersections between Blackness, queerness, and gender within the construct of the US.
Golden is the recipient of a City of Boston Artist-in-Residence (2020-2021), a Pink Door Fellowship (2017/2019), an Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum Luminaries Fellowship (2019), the Frontier Award for New Poets (2019), a Best of the Net Award (2020), and a Pushcart Prize nomination (wildness, 2019 & Glass Poetry, 2020). Golden also was selected as a finalist for the Aperture Portfolio Prize (2021) & the Queer|Art Illuminations Grant for Black Trans Women Visual Artists (2020).
Their work has been featured on/at the Offing, Button Poetry, Buzzfeed, i-D, Interview Magazine, the Nathan Cummings Foundation, the Gordon Parks Foundation, & elsewhere. Golden holds a BFA in Photography from New York University (2018).
Clifford Prince King is an artist living and working in Los Angeles, CA.King documents his intimate relationships in traditional, everyday settings that speak on his experiences as a queer black man. In these instances, communion begins to morph into an offering of memory; it is how he honors and celebrates the reality of layered personhood. Within King's images are nods to the beyond. Shared offerings to the past manifest in codes hidden in plain sight, known only to those who sit within a shared place of knowledge.
Myles Loftin is part of the new vanguard of image makers. They are an artist, storyteller, and creative collaborator based in Brooklyn, but is very much on the world’s radar. Brands like Calvin Klein, Converse, GCDS, Nike, and Under Armour commission him for ad campaigns, and publications like Paper, The Cut, Garage, i-D, and The Fader turn to him for editorials that resonate with discerning audiences.
Myles’ work, known for an often playful sensibility and an intimacy that unite viewer and subject, is driven by his desire to show up for underrepresented and misrepresented groups—because as a queer Black man, he knows the power of visibility. “We look to the media for ideas of what our future can be,” says Myles, “and if you don’t see yourself represented, it’s very hard for you to imagine a future for yourself.
A budding tastemaker, Myles was featured in the campaign “Polaroid Originals and Ryan McGinley Present the New Originals,” and he co-curated a panel for Parsons School of Design’s “Nth Degree Series” celebrating “thinkers, visionaries, and creators who define the cutting edge.” In 2019, at the age of 21, he was invited to speak at Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity. The following year, Forbes named him one of 2020’s “30 Under 30” in the category of “Art and Style.” And this is just the beginning…
Groana Melendez is a lens-based artist whose work explores hybrid identities through self-representation. Raised between New York City and Santo Domingo she holds an MFA in Advanced Photographic Studies from the International Center of Photography-Bard Program. Groana has participated in group exhibitions in Guadalupe, the Leslie Lohman Museum for Gay and Lesbian Art, and currently at El Museo del Barrio. She’s also had solo shows at the New York Public Library, CUNY, and ICP-Bard’s studio in Queens. She works and lives in the Bronx in New York City.
Coyote Park (he/they) is a 2Spirit, mixed race (Korean, White, Native American) artist from Honolulu, Hawai'i that currently lives in Tongva Territory/Los Angeles. They are a photographer and storyteller who is Indigenous to California. Park focuses their work on their trans family, as they want to make images of people that they love and have shared lived experiences with. Park's work celebrates the every day by documenting their home space and environments in building queer utopia. Park merges their written work with their passion for image making and has been working on a photo book entitled "All Kin is Blood Kin" surrounding themes of family, rebirth, bodies, sexuality, and love. Park's practice is community and collaboration oriented, as they make photographs with their romantic partners and friendships. They are continuing to make photos in New York, California, and Hawai'i with other QTPOC and of queer/trans couples, evolving their work through time and new experiences.
Alexis Ruiseco-Lombera is a performer, writer, and director making from the intersection between being non-binary and Cubanidad. Ruiseco-Lombera received their BFA from Parsons and has shown works at Milk Gallery, Galleria Menjunje, Andrew Freedman Home, Leslie-Lohman Museum, #00Bienal De La Habana, Baxter St Camera Club, and Brooklyn Museum. Recently, they have performed at Company Gallery, and MoMA for Tania Bruguera, Adrian Piper, and Simone Forti. They were a resident at the Marble House Project, and fellow of En Foco Photography, TU Cuba, and AIM Cycle 39 at the Bronx Museum.
Ka-Man Tse has exhibited her work at Para Site, Videotage, Lumenvisum, WMA’s Transition, and Eaton Workshop all in Hong Kong. In the U.S. she has mounted solo shows at Aperture in New York, the Silver Eye Center for Photography in Pittsburgh, PA, and the New York Public Library. In the fall of 2020, she exhibited work at Art on the Stoop: Sunset Screenings at the Brooklyn Museum. She is the recipient of the Robert Giard Fellowship, a Research Award from Yale University Fund for Lesbian and Gay Studies, the Aperture Portfolio Prize, the Aaron Siskind Fellowship, and was a Artist in Resident at Light Work in Syracuse, NY. Curatorial projects include Daybreak: New Affirmations in Queer Photography at the Leslie-Lohman Museum co-curated with Matt Jensen, and Unruly Visions, in partnership with the Hong Kong International Photography Festival, featuring work by nine emerging LGTBQ photographers in Hong Kong in 2021. Her monograph, narrow distances was published by Candor Arts. She has taught at Cooper Union, Yale School of Art, and is currently Associate Director of BFA Photography at Parsons.
TRNK is a design studio and curatorial platform that celebrates the role of art and design in intimate, livable spaces. Alongside our in-house product line, TRNK Collection, we feature a cultivated selection of furniture, objects, and artworks from a diverse roster of global talents. Motivated by the ways that environments shape our interactions, memories, and experiences, we spend time with every piece to ensure our products strike an ideal balance between artistry and function.