MCAD’s MFA Thesis Exhibition is the culminating exhibition of graduating Master of Fine Arts candidates. As promised, visitors could see “work that encourages contemplation and conversation while surprising and delighting in the mastery of materials”. I was lucky enough to get a sneak preview of the work of two artists: Sishir Bommakanti and Sherry Muyuan He, both of whom chose to focus sustainability, though in very different ways.
Sishir’s exhibit was a series of 3 captivating paintings drawing on Indian mythology to colorfully illustrate the self-inflicted abuses, curses, and consequences of the anthropocene. Accompanying postcards share compelling poetic text explaining what the viewer is exploring and experiencing. Upon learning about the ravages of sustainability, Sishir felt compelled to use his talents to share this information with the world, especially those who might not be able to “see” it.
Sherry’s exhibit was a set of cleverly constructed yellow and white modular furniture made out of cardboard, set up next to a set of plain cardboard boxes used for shipping (e.g. the kind you might received from Amazon). Sherry explained that she was distressed by the incredible numbers of brand-new cardboard boxes that are shipped every day all over the world that, at best, get recycled. Sherry used her talents to create instructions for crafting the furniture — everything from a chest of drawers to a dining room set with stowable chairs to a stand-up computer table — from the shipping boxes. The instructions, which were almost completely graphic, were printed right on the boxes.
Both of these exhibits so perfectly express MCAD’s tagline:
WHERE CREATIVITY MEETS PURPOSE
I was amazed and inspired as well as surprised and delighted — and this brief encounter will certainly encourage more contemplation and conversation!
[The image is Sherry Muyuan He’s business card — made from cardboard!]