West Encounters East® (WEE) is the brainchild of savvy Miami based art collector and museum trustee Stella Holmes. Stella is a successful entrepreneur, business owner and globe trotting supporter of the arts. Dressed to the nines, one day you may find her in a Brazilian favela interviewing an artist and the next week you may bump into her in Basel, Switzerland wearing sneaks and a Gucci dress at the Art Basel Fair. She is one of Miami’s most elegant dressed benefactors. She is a driven woman with a mission and vision for discovering, promoting and documenting artists whose work expresses the immigration path of established Latin American artists of Asian heritage. The artistic result when you merge traditional Asian with our vibrant Latin American culture is an exotic melange that is fresh, bold and powerful.
Stella came across this astounding discovery during her many cross Atlantic travels. She noticed a subtle recurring ethnic thread as she happened upon the art work of second generation Japanese immigrants living in Brazil and Argentina. A subject that captivated her attention and peaked her curiosity from a scholarly standpoint. She decided to embark on a quest to study the migration paths of Japanese artists and to discover the impact living in Latin America had on the evolution and transformation of their art. The merging of these two cultures forged a new strain of innovative vision and artistic vocabularies that has served to connect cultural divides in today’s globalized age.
The “West Encounters East: Light and Shadows” exhibition will be on view at the upcoming ArteAmericas Fair. For a sneak peek beforehand, the Lowe Art Museum Director, Brian Dursum and Stella M. Holmes, President of The Brickellian, Inc., will host a preview at the museum on Thursday, February 9, 2012 from 7:00 pm until 10:00 pm. Guest speakers will be writer Anna Kazumi Stahl, Ph.D. and Denise Mattar, Curator of the West Encounters East (WEE) exhibition and former Director of São Paulo Modern Art Museum and the Rio de Janeiro Modern Art Museum. Stahl will speak on “The Japanese Beauty of Shadows” which addresses Japanese cultural aesthetic as it relates to light and dark and Mattar will speak about Japanese immigration to Brazil and will also introduce the works of seven Latin American artists with Asian heritage: Cristina Sá, Takashi Fukushima, Yutaka Toyota, Kazuo Okubo, Megumi Yuasa, Valeria Yamamoto and Guillermo Ueno.
I am looking forward to this intriguing show and the well anticipated PBS documentary that will follow in the near future of 2012. Be on the look out for a book titled “West Encounters East®” which is also slated for release this year.
By Tina Cornely