Thursday, August 4, 2011

Dang and Packer at VAC on Friday

Posted By on Thu, Aug 4, 2011 at 4:07 PM

Nathan Dang
  • "Trey," 16-inches by 20-inches, color photographic print, part of the series titled We SOS 4 RNR on exhibit at VAC starting Friday, Aug. 5.
  • Nathan Dang

A new exhibit opening at Visual Arts Collective on Friday, Aug. 5, will be grounds for a reunion.

Photographer Nathan Dang and painter Kelly Packer first showed their work together at the Hyde Park Gallery in 2006. This show will be the first time the artists have shared a space since then. It will also mark the first time Dang has shown his work in five years.

“I had a child and started a business, so there’s been a lot of photograph taking but not a lot of photograph showing over the past couple of years,” Dang said.

Dang’s work is relatively unknown in Boise (though it is well recognized in his native California), which is somewhat of a contrast to Packer, who has gained recognition through her popular 40 Saints collection, as well as through her involvement with BOSCO, her residency in 2009 as 8th Street Marketplace AIR artist and most recently as a founding member of the artist collective ENSO Artspace, which opened its studio doors in May.

Though Packer is a multimedia artist, she primarily works with paint, using bright colors and layered structures to create striking abstracts. For the VAC exhibit, she created large-scale paintings, which are reminiscent of some of her smaller pieces. Dang has also created a large installation for the exhibit: a site-specific project that is based on VAC’s exterior and interior spaces and its surrounding environs.

“The photographs will be displayed digitally, like a glorified slideshow, so to speak,” Dang said.

Dang only recently made a foray into digital photography.

“I’ve been shooting digital only for a couple of years. There’s a lot of technique in trying to stay fine art and high end with digital because anybody can do it. Creating something that’s artwork is a different ball game,” Dang said.

The approach Dang takes to his work is different as well. The color chrome film he used in his Cannon A1 35mm for over 12 years is no longer manufactured, but he seems to have embraced the digital age, as well as the creative opportunities it affords.

“Everything’s digital now, so I wanted to present a piece that was all digital, shot and shown as a new medium,” said Dang.

For the rest of his pieces in the exhibition, Dang will draw from photographs taken over the course of his 20-year-plus career as a photographer, including a selection of photographs that were cut and reconfigured into diptychs and triptychs. The photographs capture urban landscapes and manmade objects in up-close and intimate compositions.

Though Dang is a photographer and Packer is primarily a painter, collaborating for this exhibition makes sense beyond just an opportunity to work together again.

“Similarities you’ll see are geometric shapes, spacing and use of color,” Dang said of his and Packer’s work. “Our colors are totally different—she uses a lot more than I do. But the way we use them in the works are similar.”

The opening reception for the exhibit starts at 7 p.m. and is free.

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