"36 Tactics" - Art Masks

In Attire
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From the Epoxy Art Group Archive (1982-1992) at the Fales Library & Special Collections at New York University
From the Epoxy Art Group Archive (1982-1992) at the Fales Library & Special Collections at New York University

The 36 Tactics was an exhibition organized by the Epoxy Art Group, an artist group that included among their membership several artists from Hong Kong and China who lived and worked on the Lower East Side in New York City during the 1980s. 

They called themselves Epoxy, noting how Epoxy glue worked by combining two different elements to create a third new element, referring to their multiple cultural backgrounds as well as the collaborative nature of their work. The artists collaborated on projects and group exhibitions such as 36 Tactics, which references the 36 strategies of the Art of War that are from a classic Chinese text during the Warring States Period or Three Kingdoms period. In this exhibition, the artists reworked headlines and images culled from the media and reprinted them as Xeroxed collages, including images of then President Ronald Reagan and Oliver North among others as a biting commentary on the times, including the U.S.’s historically fraught military and political relationship with Asia.

This is a photograph of Epoxy Art Group artists in art masks for the 36 Tactics exhibition at the Sabrina Fung Gallery in New York City.

Place(s): Lower East Side, NYC

– Alexandra Chang, New York University - Asian/Pacific/American Institute

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