“Knowing Me, Knowing You,” the 1977 pop hit by Swedish superstars ABBA, isn’t an intuitive title choice. Especially for an exhibition exploring the connections, conceptions and interpretations of Asia by contemporary Bay Area artists. But for an exhibition series full of fresh perspectives and dynamic, unexpected works, it fits the bill. “Knowing Me, Knowing You,” for those of you unfamiliar with the song, is an upbeat break-up tune full of faded family memories, both good and bad.
Like Proximities 1: What Time is it There? before it, Proximities 2 features a large-scale floor centerpiece. Mik Gaspay’s Eve references a 1993 TIME magazine cover that presented “The New Face of America,” a woman’s portrait made by digitally blending a mix of ethnicities. Similarly, Gaspay’s installation blends cultural signifiers with technological renderings. In the center of the square arrangement sits a large steel pot topped by a shiny silver kettle, the kind of kitchenware used to feed large groups of people. Hidden audio components make the pot seem to rumble with the sounds of cooking. From this gleaming center, the installation’s elements grow increasingly digital, ending with two small monitors displaying a flickering, orange version of Eve’s pleasant yet expressionless face.