Shifting Sands
NYFA 2020 Immigrant Artist Mentoring Program

Shifting Sands is a group exhibition showcasing the creative breadth of 20 artists from the NYFA Immigrant Artist Mentoring Program. Each of these artists has crossed physical borders, leaving one part of the world for another – in doing so, holding space for various identities and shifting realities. From this common experience emerges unique perspectives on identity, belonging, home, memory, hope, and resilience.

Exhibiting artists from the 2020 NYFA Immigrant Artist Mentoring Program:

Zeshan Ahmed is a visual artist based in Brooklyn, NY. Born and raised in old Delhi, India, his prints draw from a breadth of philosophical and personal references. Interior and contemplative, Ahmed abstractions forego specificity in favor of a wandering, poetic ambiguity, a strategic opacity abetted by his deconstructive erasure of color. His practice dwells in using photography not just as a tool but subject matter. Ahmed most recently exhibited his work in Pennsylvania, New York, Auckland, Pingyao, Nanjing, Hyderabad, and Mumbai. He is the recipient of Provost scholarship for his M.F.A. in Photography at Parsons School of Design, The New School, and The JN Tata Endowment Scholarship for the Higher Education of Indians, and currently part of the NYFA Immigrant Artist Mentoring Program for Visual & Multidisciplinary Artists, New York.

For more information on Zeshan visit his website here.

Katya Akuma is an interdisciplinary artist who focuses on using ubiquitous, overlooked, cultural-rich materials, to explore questions of identity and belonging drawing upon her personal experience as an immigrant who has lived and worked in several countries. Katya has developed a unique storytelling technique involving densely layered discarded leather and found objects that often depict themes of history, collective memory and nostalgia. Through her use of recycled medium, she seeks to highlight the creative potential of repurposed materials while inviting the audience to reconsider the environmental impact of their consumption and disposal. Katya Akuma is a founder of Council for Fashion and Social Change, that focuses on helping other non-profit organizations raise funding through collaborations with established brands while providing young emerging designers and artists with a platform to showcase their talent. Akuma is currently an Artist in Residence at Andrew Freedman Home. Her works were recently exhibited at The Museum of Modern Art Pop Rally. She was selected and participated in the Parsons Design Fellowship, which was launched by Parsons, The New School for Design and the Urban Zen Foundation for The Design, Organization, Training Center (D.O.T) in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. Akuma has a MA in Fashion Studies from Parsons The New School for Design in New York City.

For more information on Katya visit her website here , or follow her on Instagram

Ivana Brenner born in Buenos Aires in 1982, lives and works in Brooklyn. She has exhibited individually at Galería Vasari, Buenos Aires (Towards Dissolution, 2015), and Alejandra Von Hartz Gallery, Miami. She has participated in several international group and two-person gallery and museum shows, amongst which A su lado, at Galería Vasari in Buenos Aires (2019); Le Dégel, at Julio Artist-run Space Paris (2017); My Feet have lost Memory of Softness, at The Franklin Chicago (2016); Assemblage #1, at Space In Progress chez Galerie 0fr (2016), Paris; Romántico, at Fundación PROA, Buenos Aires (2014); and Carnets d’Inspiration+, at the Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris (2010). She was awarded the First Mention at XVII Premio Klemm 2013. In 2009-2010 she was awarded a 6-months residency at the Cité Internationale des Arts, Paris, and participated in the Biennale Internationale du Lin de Portneuf, Québec, Canada, where she was also given a 15-days residency. She was part of NYFA’s 2020 Immigrant Artist Mentoring Program. She recently wrote an essay on Medardo Rosso’s work for a catalogue of the Art Institute of Chicago. She earned her MFA in Studio (Fiber and Material Studies department), at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago with a full Merit New Artist Society Scholarship.

For more information on Ivana visit her website here , or follow her on Instagram.

Chile-born Belgian artist Hedwig Brouckaert, currently based in Queens NY, works with mass media imagery to create personal works. She obtained an MFA from the University of California, Davis, after a Master’s Degree in Sculpture and a Postgraduate Degree at the Higher Institute for Fine Arts in Belgium. She received Grants from the Belgian Government, and fellowships from the Rockefeller Foundation – Bellagio (IT), Liguria Center Bogliasco (IT), Cité Internationale des Arts Paris, Hafnarborg Museum of Iceland, and Yaddo. Her work was presented in ‘Re/pro/ducing Complexity’ at the Museum Dhondt-Dhaenens (BE), Städtische Galerie Villa Zanders (DE), VOLTA NY (2014 & ’18), Kentler International Drawing Space (NY), Bangkok Art and Culture Center (TH), and Palazzo Vendramin Costa (Venice IT). Her work was featured in the NYT and the Brooklyn Rail.

For more information on Hedwig visit her website here, or follow her on Instagram

Zorica Čolić is a visual artist, born in Serbia and based in New York. Using a wide range of media such as video, sound, mixed media sculpture, text and collage, she explores issues around the human body as a cultural symptom, focusing on how its health and well-being are intertwined in the political, economic and cultural realms. She earned an M.F.A. in Electronic Integrated Arts from Alfred University (Alfred, NY), B.F.A. in Painting from Academy of Art (Novi Sad, Serbia). Čolić was a resident artist at the Whitney Museum Independent Study Program; Artist In the Marketplace, The Bronx Museum of the Arts; NYFA’s Immigrant Artist Mentoring Program; Institute for Electronic Arts, Alfred, NY; International Summer Academy, Salzburg, Austria. She has been exhibiting in solo and group shows internationally, including exhibitions at: Elizabeth Foundation for the Arts Project Space, NY; The Energy Museum of Santralistanbul, Istanbul, Turkey; Museum of Contemporary Art, Leipzig, Germany; Fashion Art Toronto, Canada; Museum of Yugoslav History, Belgrade. She is a recipient of grants from institutions such as Foundation for Contemporary Arts (New York, NY), KulturKontakt (Austria), Ministry of Culture (Serbia), Goethe Institute (Germany).

For more information on Zorica visit her website here, or follow her on Instagram.

Carin Kulb Dangot b. 1971, is a São Paulo, Brazil-born abstract painter and sculptor. She began her career as a food engineer and then a sought-after food designer for film and television before bringing her love of mixing, melding, and inventing new forms to the world of paint, color, volume, and mass. Dangot’s artwork emphasizes the physical properties of materials via experimentation and other intuitive processes. She is interested in paint materiality and plasticity on various surfaces–such as canvas, aluminum, and Mylar- 2D and 3D. Dangot’s work has been exhibited in NYC fine arts venues NY Live Arts, Christie’s, The Cluster Gallery, Deanna Evans Project, Governors Island (GIAF), Phyllis Harriman Mason Gallery, Soho20, and in Amherst, MA at Augusta Savage Gallery. She has also exhibited in her home country at the Brazilian Museum of Sculpture and Casa Galeria in São Paulo. She is the 2012 recipient of the Leonard Rosenfeld Merit Scholarship and Lloyd Sherwood Grant for “outstanding work in non-objective art” from the Art Students League. Dangot was recently accepted into the competitive New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA) Immigrant Artist Mentoring Program in 2020. Dangot currently lives and works out of New York City since 2010.

For more information on Carin visit her website here, or follow her on Instagram

Bel Falleiros is a Brazilian artist whose practice focuses on how contemporary constructed landscapes (mis)represent the diverse layers of presence that constitute a place. Walking is core to her practice and to her first solo show at CAIXA Cultural São Paulo, as well as her residency at the Sacatar Institute in Bahia, Brazil (2014). Since arriving in the U.S., she has worked to create spaces for grounding and connecting people, including a site-specific installation at Pecos National Park, New Mexico (2016), an earth-work at Burnside Farm, Detroit (2017), functional sculptures in collaboration with Tewa Women United, during the Santa Fe Art Institute’s Equal Justice Residency (2018), and a brick monument carrying underrepresented people’s words at Socrates Sculpture Park (2020). Beyond her studio practice, she participates in collaborative projects across the Americas connecting art, education and autonomous thinking. She is currently a More Art Engaging Artist Fellow (New York) and a teaching artist at Escuelita en Casa and Dia:Beacon.

For more information on Bel visit her website here, or follow her on Instagram.

Nathier Fernandez is a Colombian multidisciplinary designer and research-based artist. Their current work focuses on the relationship between human and non-human interactions and what arises when emerging technologies are involved. They have a special interest around living materials, exploring possible intersections between biological and computational systems.

For more information on Nathier visit her website here, or follow her on Instagram.

Vinay Hira is a multidisciplinary artist based in Manhattan, New York. His self-referential aesthetic and varied self-taught technique produces work that distorts the image of a charming commonwealth brown boy – making audiences simultaneously experience his familiarity and his otherness. Hira’s work dips in and out of pop culture, existing in the liminality between eccentricity and instability where our deepest desires and greatest insecurities threaten to spill from our mouths – it is his journey as both an artist and a human. Hira is a trained marine scientist and plant pathologist who was flung into artistic notoriety whilst working in sterling bond investment in the bourgeois New Zealand suburbs.

For more information on Vinay visit his website here, or follow him on Instagram.

Jaejoon Jang lives and works in Brooklyn, NY and Baltimore, MD. He completed an M.F.A. and B.F.A. at the Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore. Before studying art, he studied mechanical engineering in Hongik university, Seoul, South Korea. He participated in the Vermont Studio Center Residency (VT), MASS MoCA Residency (MA), Carrie Able Gallery Artists In Residence (NY) and NYFA Immigrant Artist Program.

For more information on Jaejoon visit his website here, or follow him on Instagram.

Hyun Jung Ahn is a Brooklyn-based multidisciplinary artist from Seoul, South Korea. Through her work, she investigates enigmatic abstract forms, which she references as “shapes of mind.” She begins by drawing from her visual diary, which captures feelings, personal connections, and emotional states of being. She then translates these notions into minimalistic drawing, painting, and sculpture. Ahn was selected as the ‘Emerging Young Artist’ at La Mer Gallery, Seoul, South Korea, and was the winner of the Emerging Art Award at Banditto Art, Tuscany, Italy. She has attended residencies including Vermont Studio Center, Johnson, VT, and MASS MoCA, North Adams, MA. Ahn Graduated from Duk Sung Women’s University, Seoul (in 2010 B.F.A and 2013 M.F.A) and received her second M.F.A in painting and drawing from Pratt Institute and currently lives and works in Brooklyn.

For more information on Hyun visit her website here, or follow her on Instagram.

Ae Yun Kim is a mixed media artist from Seoul, South Korea. She received her BFA degree in General Fine Arts from Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore, MD. After graduation, she moved to NYC then in June 2020, moved again to South Korea due to the pandemic. She is currently based in Seoul, South Korea. The theme of her art comes from personal experience and emotional struggles as she has been dealing with major depression. She uses various types of paper as a main material and hand stitches them together. Compositions with paper, drawings, and stitches are the result of careful decisions. The act of hand stitching is essential for the work because the repetition is meditative and, at the same time, forceful.

For more information on Ae Yun visit her website here, or follow her on Instagram.

Geuryung Lee was born and raised in South Korea. After graduating from Pratt Institute in New York City with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Painting, she attended SUNY New Paltz and earned a Master of Fine Arts in Painting & Drawing and a second Master of Fine Arts in Printmaking. Ms. Lee attended artist’s residency programs at: Chashama in NY; Art Letters & Numbers in NY; the Woodstock School of Art in NY; Chautauqua Institution in Chautauqua, New York; the Vermont Studio Center in Johnson, Vermont; and the Green Olive Arts in Tetouan, Morocco. Her solo and group exhibitions have included locations such as New York NY; London, England; Assisi, Italy; Tetouan, Morocco; Seoul, Korea; Beijing, China; and Kwangju, Korea. Recently, she introduced her artwork at the New York Foundation of Art as an artist in the 2020 NYFA Immigrant Mentoring Program.

For more information on Geuryung visit her website here, or follow her on Instagram.

Jiaoyang Li is an Chinese interdisciplinary artist currently based in New York. Drifting among poetry, video, installation and performance, Jiaoyang is tracing personal and collective stories around folds. Her work has been exhibited at the New York Live Arts Center, the immigrant artist biennial, Latitude Gallery, Milan A60 Art Space, Milan Modern Art Center, Los Angeles Design Festival, Womenswork.art gallery, Indie Film Festival, DC Chinese Film festival, Athens International Video Poetry festival and others. Her work has won the Best LGBT Film Awards from Direct Monthly Online Film Festival and Phoenix Short Film Festival. She has received grant and support from British Council and New York Foundation For the Arts and she is the 2021-2022 fellow at The Performance Project@USS. Jiaoyang holds BA from Goldsmiths University of London and MFA from New York University.

For more information on Jiaoyang visit her website here, or follow her on Instagram.

Spandita Malik is a New York-based artist from India. Her work is concerned with the current global socio-political state of affairs with an emphasis on women’s rights and gendered violence. Malik specializes in process based work in photography, recently with photographic surface embroideries and collaborations with women in India. Malik’s work in expanded documentary and social-practice consciously emanates from the idea of decolonizing the eye and aesthetic surrounding documentary photography of India. Malik received her MFA in Photography from Parsons School of Design in 2019. She was recently awarded the Firecracker Photographic Grant and En Foco Photography Fellowship. She was chosen for Baxter St Workspace Residency (2020); Feminist Incubator Residency by Project for Empty Spaces (2020); The Center for Photography at Woodstock Artist in Residency Program (2021) and Bemis Center of Contemporary Arts (2021). Malik’s work has been featured in magazines like Musée Magazine, Harper’s Magazine and Elephant Magazine, she was named ‘Ones to Watch 2020’ by British Journal of Photography. ‘Threads of Identity,’ Malik’s solo show is currently open at the Visual Art Center of New Jersey. Her work has been featured internationally in China, France, India, Italy, New York and New Zealand.

For more information on Spandita visit her website here, or follow her on Instagram.

Levan Mindiashvili is a Georgian born Brooklyn based visual artist. He holds his BFA from Tbilisi State Academy of Arts (2003), and MFA from Buenos Aires National University of Arts (2010). His work has been shown at the East Slovak Gallery, Kosovo; Elizabeth Foundation for Arts Projects Space, NY; Shau Fenster, Berlin; BRIC Arts Center, Brooklyn; National Museum of China, Beijing; Georgian National Museum, among others. His recent solo presentations were held at SPRING/BREAK Art Show, NY; NARS Foundation, Brooklyn; NADA Miami; Tbilisi Art Fair’19; and Berlin Art Fair’19. He is a recipient of the Peter S Reed Foundation Grant (2020), NYFA Immigrant Artist Mentoring Program fellowship (2020), Creative Time X Summit grant (2019), AIM Fellowship of the Bronx Museum of the Arts (2019), and of the National Endowments for the Arts (2014). His work has been the subject of an essay by Christian Rattemeyer for the OSMOS Magazine fall issue (2019). His work has been mentioned in publications as Artnet News, The Art Newspaper, ArtAsia Pacific, HYPERALLERGIC, Observer, Huffington Post, Art Margins, among others.

For more information on Levan visit his website here, or follow him on Instagram.

j.p.mot (of his full name: Jean-Pierre Abdelrahman Minh Mot Chen Hadji Yakop a.k.a. by his legal name: Jean-Pierre Mot), a first-generation born Khmer-Canadian, conceptual artist and essayist, child of Chams – a Muslim minority in Cambodia – refugees emigrants who settled in Canada after a few years in France following the end of the Khmer Rouge genocide; Mot was born and raised in Montreal and is currently living and working in New York. His object of research centers on reclaiming the orientalist gaze depicted by colonial ethnographers. Within his art process, conceptual by nature, he uses serendipity and chance encounters as a method of creation resulting in mixed-media installations of diverse assemblages giving way to satire and subversive semantics underlined by words, characters, and iconographies found on discarded packaging, objects of consumption, architectural detail and everyday gesture through site-specific endeavors – while using commercial branding, food, and technology in an oneiric manner to mistranslate pieces of information. He is interested in ideas of consumption, mass production, and mass media portrayals through the study of labor, colonial imaginary, body politics, and remnants of the Anthropocene.

For more information on j.p. visit his website here.

Ghislaine Sabiti is an interdisciplinary French/American Congolese-born artist, a painter, costume designer, and teaching artist who was raised on the outskirts of Paris, France and is now based in New York. She studied fine art at Atelier Chantier du Coq and graduated with honors in fashion design from Atelier Chardon Savard in Paris, France. She studies glass lamp-work and photo decals at Urban Glass. She highlights the technical form used in both African and European arts, which stresses form and color. Sabiti completed a fellowship at the Caribbean Cultural Center African Diaspora Institute Cycle VIII of the Spring ICA, and New York foundation of the Arts Immigrant Artist Program. Ghislaine is nominated by Chashama for an artist residency at the Marcel Breuer House Pocantico Center/Rockefeller Brothers Fund, Jamaica Center and Learning, Urban glass, Chashama and Commission for the Lexington Hotel, New York, Salon du Prêt-à-Porter. Sabiti was also an award winner for the Dupont De Nemours hosiery design competition for DIM Company. Her work has been exhibited and commissioned nationally and internationally in France and the U.S. in numerous group exhibitions and solo shows including galleries and museum such as El Teatro del Museo Del Barrio, Occupy Museum Debt Fair at the Whitney Biennial, Atelier Rosal, Westfield State University Arno Maris Gallery, Rio Gallery, shapeshifterlab, Harlem School of the Arts, Brooklyn Film and Art Festival and Small Space Fest, and Poe Park Visitor Center.

For more information on Ghislaine visit her Facebook here, or follow her on Instagram.

Leila Seyedzadeh’s work addresses imaginary landscapes and focuses on natural subjects such as mountains extracted from the subconscious. It is as if she is attaching pieces of her memories, and by doing so, she is destroying their meaning, thus creating a landscape immersed in placelessness. Leila Seyedzadeh is an Iranian interdisciplinary artist based in New York who received her MFA from Yale University School of Art in 2019 and BA from The University of Science and Culture in 2014. She was a recipient of the H.Lee Hirsche prize and Soma Summer fellowship at Yale School of Art. She has been invited to participate in exhibitions, including shows at The border project space, High line nine Gallery, Dubai art fair, and Dastan Gallery. Her work is represented in institutional exhibitions in the US and Iran, including Green Hall Gallery at Yale University and Ahvaz Contemporary Art museum in Iran. She completed her residencies at Nars and NYFA in New York and at SOMA in Mexico City.

For more information on Leila visit her website here, or follow her on Instagram.

Sofia Suazo is a Chilean multimedia artist and creative technologist. Her work, influenced by media archeology theory, explores the political and cultural role of media in society.

For more information on Sofia visit her website here, or follow her on Instagram.

Curated by Ghislaine Sabiti, Yvette Molina & Hedwig Brouckaert.

For more information on Yvette visit her website here, or follow her on Instagram.

For more information on the exhibition visit their Facebook page here or follow their Instagram.



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