Curator Carol Ng-He, in collaboration with Chicago Teen Museum

Chicago Artists’ Month 2010
Venue Location: Phantom
Project Lead: Carol Ng-He, Artist and Program Developer for Chicago Teen Museum (CTM)
Opening: October 7th, 2010  4pm-8pm
Open Studio: Thursday - Saturday 1pm-4pm

Project Description:
Using the collective insight/conceptual framework design from the Teen Council Project: Creating, Teaching, Moving, which occurred at the Chicago Teen Museum in fall 2009, ten Chicagoarea teens, over the course of eight weeks, will design an installation project using found materials in the teens’ home and school, to recreate a comfortable teen space (and/or spacel arrangements) that reflects teen issues, individual concerns, dreams, as well as their collective experience in their school life. The space can mimic teen’s bedroom, lockers, private drawer depending on teens’ collective decision with interactive elements.

There will be two to four professional artists of different medium involved in this project. The artists will serve as a mentor to the participating teen members from the Chicago Teen Museum. There are two major activities that will happen at Phantom Gallery:

1. Participating teens from Chicago Teen Museum will engage in open studio by compiling and arranging objects that most exemplify their characters, interests, and concerns from their home and school. The teens will use the space at Phantom Gallery to create a multi-sensory staged “teen” space.

2. Artist Mentor will respond to the teens’ suggested topics relating to teen culture from the Teen Council Project in fall 2009 through creation of an artwork

Artist Statement/Project Background:

As an interdisciplinary artist and art educator, my art explores the terrains of transition in different levels – politically, economically, physically, temporally, culturally, linguistically, emotionally, and spiritually. .” As I immigrated to the United States in my late teen years, the abrupt loss of the communities and the process of re-positioning in a new country opened my perspective about my selfhood and the others. For me, the nature of transition is monumental; each change marks a transformation; a transition also displays a sense of vulnerability, as one must step out from familiarity into unfamiliarity; a transition is to become and evolve, perhaps in an unexpected momentum; a transition marks an experience of transcendence – that one moves away from the past being to a new level of being.

My personal interest in exploring the notions of “transition,” “transformation,” and “transcendence” intersect with the mission of the Chicago Teen Museum as it acknowledges the importance of teenage as a critical formative stage of individuals. Chicago Teen Museum is the first museum in the country dedicated entirely to the preservation of teen culture by connecting youth expression with the museum profession. CTM works to reshape museum standards, provide professional guidance to youth, give teens a platform for expression, and bring diverse groups of youth together in a creative and original capacity. Through a multi-disciplinary approach, CTM engages youth with varied interests and skills, and collaborates with a range of arts and cultural organizations to create a unique environment inspired by the community. The installation site/staged space serves as a platform for public dialogues about teen culture and resonates the “teen” within of the visitors. As museums serve as a space for civic engagement, this project marks an alternative space in which teens take leadership role in making a museum exhibit; it also challenges the viewers to rethink how the cultural environment shapes teen culture, and gives the voice to the teens in recognizing their power in the society.


Artist/Curator’s Bio:

Carol Ng-He, born and raised in Hong Kong, is a Chicago-based interdisciplinary artist and art educator. She received a Master’s degree of Arts in Art Education from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and a Bachelor’s degree in Arts from Columbia College Chicago. Carol has exhibited, performed and lectured locally including the Chicago Cultural Center, Museum of Contemporary Art, Hyde Park Art Center, Jane Addams-Hull House Museum, Koehnline Museum of Art at Oakton Community College, Woman Made Gallery, Insight Arts, Mess Hall, Links Hall, and the Duncan YMCA Chernin Center for the Arts in Chicago. Her publications have appeared on Chicago Artists Resource, Community Arts Network and Teaching Artists Journal. As a teaching artist, Carol works with the Silk Road Theatre Project and Chicago Teen Museum. She has also taught at Columbia College Chicago, Roosevelt University, and Oakton Community College.