Artist Talk: Preetika Rajgariah and Stevie SpurginVIEW EVENT DETAILS
Tuesday, September 7, 2021
7 p.m. Moderated Discussion
7:40 p.m. Audience Q&A — Questions welcome via YouTube Live or Facebook Live
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Join Asia Society for a virtual conversation between two of the featured artists participating in the Artists on Site Series 2 project. Preetika Rajgariah and Stevie Spurgin will discuss their work in Houston and onsite at Asia Society Texas, providing insight into their processes and a reflection upon their practices. They will be joined by moderators Brandon Tho Harris and Bridget Bray.
About the Artists
Preetika Rajgariah (b. 1985) is an interdisciplinary artist whose works examine the complicated intersections of cultural identity, race, capitalism, and sexuality while referencing her traditional upbringing as an Indian-born American. Rajgariah has attended residencies at Oxbow School of Art, ACRE, Vermont Studio Center, and the School of Visual Arts, and she has exhibited and performed in spaces such as Western Exhibitions and Roots & Culture in Chicago as well as Art League Houston, Lawndale Art Center, and Women & Their Work in Texas. She received her MFA from the University of Illinois Urbana Champaign and currently lives and works in Houston, Texas.
Stevie Spurgin is an interdisciplinary artist from Marfa, Texas, who recently graduated with her MFA from the University of Houston. Spurgin earned a BA in Film, Television, and Digital Media with an emphasis in special effects makeup from Texas Christian University. She currently lives and works in Houston, Texas.
Spurgin’s studio practice challenges the societal standard of the “normal,” “beautiful,” and “gross,” focusing on what we typically cast away. Her transformed objects undergo makeovers through the labor of repetitive actions, documentation, and mark-making that leave the work “glammed-up,” “magnified,” and sprinkled with the abject to isolate the language we use around beauty. Her work has been featured in: Evidence Tampered at Alabama Song in Houston, Texas, the 2019 University of Houston’s School of Art Annual Student Exhibition at the Blaffer Art Museum, a 2019 performance of 40 (something) Lipsticks at the Blaffer Art Museum’s Convergence Research, and most recently in Annex Energy at Sawyer Yards’ Site Gallery.
About the Moderator
Brandon Tho Harris is an interdisciplinary artist and arts professional based in Houston, Texas. His creative practice explores his identity as a child of war refugees. Through intensive research on the Vietnamese diaspora in relation to his family history, he examines notions of intergenerational trauma, displacement and the land as a living archive. Found in his work are often self-portraiture, his family archives, found objects, raw materials, and historical images portraying the Vietnam war. By the use of photography, video, performance, and installation, he grants viewers with a deeper understanding of the complexities surrounding migration.
Harris’ work has been featured in exhibitions and projects at Asia Society Texas, Houston Center for Photography, and the Blaffer Art Museum. His projects have been funded through grants from The Idea Fund and Houston Art Alliance. He has participated in lectures and presentations at Yale University and Rice University, among others. He received his BFA in Photography and Digital Media from the University of Houston and currently is the Manager of Engagement and Communications at FotoFest.
This project is organized by Asia Society Texas. Exhibitions and their related programs at Asia Society Texas are presented by Nancy C. Allen, Chinhui Juhn and Eddie Allen, and Leslie and Brad Bucher. Major support comes from The Brown Foundation, Inc., Houston Endowment, and the City of Houston through Houston Arts Alliance. Generous funding also provided by The Anchorage Foundation of Texas, The Clayton Fund, Texas Commission on the Arts, National Endowment for the Arts, Wortham Foundation, Inc., and Agnes Hsu-Tang, Ph.D. and Oscar L. Tang. United Airlines is our official airline partner. Funding is also provided through contributions from the Exhibitions Patron Circle, a dedicated group of individuals and organizations committed to bringing exceptional visual art to Asia Society Texas.
Nancy C. Allen
Leslie and Brad Bucher
Chinhui Juhn and Edward Allen
Official Airline Sponsor
About Asia Society at Home
We are dedicated to continuing our mission of building cross-cultural understanding and uplifting human connectivity. Using digital tools, we bring you content for all ages and conversations that matter, in order to spark curiosity about Asia and to foster empathy.
About Asia Society Texas Center
With 13& locations throughout the world, Asia Society is the leading educational organization promoting mutual understanding and strengthening partnerships among the peoples, leaders, and institutions of Asia and West. Asia Society Texas Center executes the global mission with a local focus, enriching and engaging the vast diversity of Houston through innovative, relevant programs in arts and culture, business and policy, education, and community outreach.