Just Between Us: From the Archives of Arlan Huang

BY Meatpacking BIDPUBLISHED 04.19.2023

In partnership with Think!Chinatown, Pearl River Mart is so proud to present "Just Between Us: From the Archives of Arlan Huang."

For nearly six decades as a practicing artist, Huang has quietly collected art. While some of the pieces were purchased, much has been amassed through “art swaps,” or friendly exchanges between fellow artists.

Like a confidence between friends, intel given off the record, or a shared history or experience, this exhibition is “just between us.” The phrase evokes the major principles that form the bedrock of Huang’s collecting ethics: that art should circulate outside the nefarious concerns of the market, that it should not seek approval from heteropatriarchal white institutions, and that a secret language in the form of gossip and complaint forges the most precious and intimate of friendships.

The works on view narrate both historic and deeply personal moments. His collection traces his time in the Asian American arts network, Godzilla, and the Chinatown-based collective Basement Workshop. Featured artists include Tomie Arai, Ken Chu, Corky Lee, Alex Paik, Hoyt Soohoo, Bob Hsiang and Martin Wong. As the owner of the frame shop Squid Frames, Huang kept longtime correspondence with conceptual artist Sol Lewitt.

Curated by Howie Chen and Danielle Wu, “Just Between Us” is on view in the Pearl River Mart Gallery at 452 Broadway from May 4 through August 27, 2023. Free and open to the public during business hours (11 a.m. to 7 pm.). An opening reception will be held on May 4 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Attendance is free but registration is required.

A catalog published by Pearl River Mart and Think!Chinatown with an essay by Danielle Wu and an interview between Howie Chen and Arlan will accompany the exhibition. The exhibition is made possible thanks to support of the State of New York and New York State Council on the Arts. It is also supported, in part, by the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council.

  • On view May 4 through August 27
  • Pearl River Mart SoHo Gallery at 452 Broadway
  • Opening reception May 4 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m

Corridor Glance: Paintings by Arlan Huang

In Chelsea Market in the Meatpacking District is a companion exhibition showcasing Arlan's own works. Presented in partnership with the Asian American Arts Alliance, this exhibition of Huang’s abstract paintings was inspired by Wong Kar-wai’s classic film, “In the Mood for Love.” Set in 1960s Hong Kong, the film is about romantic longing and fleeting moments, meaningful glances and unheard secrets.

Like the iconic scene in which two almost-lovers cross paths in a narrow passageway under bare lights, Huang's work can be found in Chelsea Market's winding halls. Paintings such as Ember (2019) and Even in the Dark with My Eyes Closed (1990) are steeped in the hot potential of an intimate encounter: whether romance, friendship, or political solidarity.

This initial connection echoes the feeling of shared experiences and confidences evoked by "Just Between Us." Where “Corridor Glance” is the spark that begins the connection, “Just Between Us” is the ongoing solidarity.

“Corridor Glance” is on view throughout Chelsea Market for the month of May.




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