Dawn Bisio is an Asian American artist of Korean descent who resides in Kingston, NY.
Dawn’s art often manifests through multiple mediums and styles. She explores issues of identity, particularly from the standpoint of being a woman, being Asian, and being a Korean adoptee. Her work also seeks to capture the fleeting moments of beauty that speak to the unseen but deeply felt.
Her arts career trajectory has been multi-disciplinary and diverse in nature. In the 90s, her focus was performance art and film. She performed at several San Francisco clubs, such as the famed Lusty Lady Theater, The End Up, Faster Pussycat, and The Clubhouse, and in New York, at The Knitting Factory and New York University.
She also worked as an art director in independent film and made a short film called, Who's Looking Now?, that screened at The SF International Lesbian & Gay Film Festival, The SF International Asian American Film Festival, and The Montreal International Image & Nation Film Festival.
In the 2000s-2010s, she focused primarily on the healing arts as a holistic health practitioner and business owner.
Since 2015, she has returned to visual arts and film with a focus on painting, installations, and screenwriting. Dawn has been in several shows at the Lace Mill Galleries, one of which she curated, Dirty Laundry, which premiered her large scale mobile installation, Mobile Home, that now permanently resides in the Lace Mill’s East Gallery. She has also shown at Adams State University in Alamosa, CO, and locally in the Hudson Valley at ASK Gallery, Woodstock Art Association & Museum, The Continuum Gallery in Warwick, NY, Upfront Gallery in Port Jervis, NY, with upcoming shows in the Rosendale Tech Storefront Gallery and an online show with Arts Mid-Hudson this Spring.
Additionally, she was selected for the 2021 NYFA/NYSCA/Arts Mid-Hudson Artist as Entrepreneur Program in the Hudson Valley, and has received scholarships from The Woodstock School of Art, a NY Film Academy Screenwriting Scholarship, and a Writer's Residency from the Provincetown Community Compact, along with multiple arts scholarships/grants from her alma maters, NYU and New College of CA, and speaking engagements at UC Santa Cruz, New College of CA, and Phillips Academy at Andover to discuss her art and social activism.
As arts are integral to her life, she is deeply involved with the Arts in midtown Kingston, particularly with The Lace Mill as a resident/artist. There, she has been actively involved with the LM Arts Council and participated in several shows and events. She also co-produces a jazz music series, called The Lace Mill Presents… with her husband, bassist- Michael Bisio, which began in 2016.
Themes being addressed
Racism, Multiculturalism, Acceptance & Celebration of Who We Are
Mediums being used
Mixed Media: wire and beads
THIS IS MY PROPOSAL- In support of it, I would love to give a talk to discuss the piece, the symbolism, the inspiration, and what I hope it can inspire.
MY PROPOSAL: FLOW: RACISM: NO
Is an installation addressing racism, which has been a long-standing issue that has come to the forefront of our collective conscience, particularly in the last few years. With stories in the news about the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, the Asian women in the Atlanta, GA spa, who, according to the local police captain, was the result of the gunman “just having a really bad day”, the deaths of children separated from their families and stuck at the US/Mexican border, and the spike in deadly violence against Asian Americans across the country due in large part to a blatantly racist former president, which three years into this pandemic, this violence continues to this day.
As an Asian American woman, born in S. Korea, who has lived in the US for nearly 50 years, I have direct experience with racism. It is a dynamic that has been a part of my reality for nearly my whole life.
My own experiences with racism along with these stories of racial hatred have provoked in me such outrage and urgency to do my part to address this systemic issue. FLOW: Racism: NO is my way of creating awareness about racism, what the real seed of it is, and how we can come together to transform it into something positive and beautiful. The installation is meant to inspire thought, growth and positive change, while being aesthetically arresting, sublime, and powerful.
FLOW: RACISM: NO is an installation comprising a suspended grid of clear threads, such as fishing line, with beads running the full length of each thread. On the left side the word HATE is spelled out in black beads surrounded by white beads. On the right side is the word LOVE in red surrounded by white beads. In between the two words, are a constellation of different color beads. The concept is that moving from HATE to LOVE requires a coming together and synthesis of differences. HATE, which by nature is seeing the world in black & white terms, transmogrifies into a space that embraces differences: many colors that can be thought of literally, as in skin color, but also figuratively as we embrace multiple facets of our world and all the people who inhabit it, who hail from a variety of backgrounds, heritages, and experiences to a space of LOVE, which is about acceptance, embrace, and celebration of who we are.
On the other side of the piece, are the same words of HATE and LOVE in Korean characters, as a nod to my first language and my Korean heritage, and as symbolic that many of us share our culture and history with other cultural and historical loci.
I call the installation FLOW: Racism: NO because revolution requires energy (FLOW). When the wind blows, this installation FLOWS. In the Tiny Roost exhibition box, there will be no air “flow” per se, but visually we can see that this is possible and through our imagination, we can understand that with “flow”, the strands of beads can move and make noise with that movement. This movement and “noise” is symbolic of the symbiosis of all of us coming together. When we come together and we speak up, when we make noise, we can say NO to hate, NO to racism.
Additionally, the beads represent all of us as individuals. We cannot have revolution as just one person, although the seeds of transformation can begin within each of us. For true revolution, though, we need many of us coming together to create a sea change.
By seeing the beads together spell out these two words and the multi-colored beads that represent a coming together and synthesis, we see what’s possible when we, as individuals, come together and work in tandem to demand change.
My original concept for this installation was large scale, approximately 8’ across by 3’ in depth by 4’ - 5’ in length, with an additional 6’ in length of wires to suspend the installation. However, for the needs of Tiny Roost, this vision would be a smaller rendition of that and customized to fit the Tiny Roost exhibition box. In this way, it will create a more intimate experience, where one can easily walk around the piece and experience it up close and personal.
This piece is meant to be experienced from all sides by anyone and everyone.
I am requesting $500 for fabrication and materials for this installation.
Images of Past Work
Image or Sketch of Current Proposal