The Exhibition

Vessels is an installation about migration that explores the idea of human beings as receptacles transporting cultural backgrounds across the world.

Although human beings have migrated extensively along history, migrants have always been considered a minority on seeking of adaptation, and it has been historically understood and accepted, that the figure of the migrant is the one expected to adapt to their new environment.

Today, due to globalization, and many political intentions,  adaptation seems to occur, in both directions. Actual societies are trying to adapt themselves to newcomers through the use of language, or other visual expressions. One can now read traffic or food signs in almost three different languages in Madrid, eat Pakistani food in Paris, or listen to Chinese Folk songs being played in the subway of New York City.

The acceleration of these fusions of cultural heritages and ethnicities challenges ideas and concepts like national identities. Those preconceived elements, such as particular customs, and traditions that used to define geopolitical entities,  are now being called into question.

The artists, Ignacio Serrano, and Xiao Hua Yang have selected a variety of signs, ads, clothing, alphabets, food, and artistic activities,  as some of the most representative visual expression found in different neighborhoods in New York and New Jersey. These animations, are representations of accelerated merged multiculturalism, in which many different traditions coexist in the same shared space. Is in this context, inherited facial features or physical appearance are no longer a factor to define a cultural identity.
La Nacional/Spanish Benevolent Society

Founded 150 years ago, the Spanish Benevolent Society of New York is a not-for-profit association dedicated to support the enrichment of the Spanish-American community in New York.

Located at 239 West 14th Street in New York City at the crossroads between the West Village, Chelsea and the Meatpacking District.  

It was founded to provide newly arrived Spanish immigrants with a comprehensive support system: a plate of food, a bed to sleep in, a suit to wear or simply a place to feel at home.  It became the heart of the area known as “Little Spain” in the New York.

Spaniards of all kinds: tourists, immigrants, artisans, professionals and many others have benefited from our little corner of Spain here in New York.  It has served as a meeting ground for avant-garde poets and artists - including the groundbreaking director Luis Buñuel and the modernist poet Federico Garcia Lorca, author of the famous anthology “Poet in New York.” It is even said that Picasso stopped in for taste of home.

Founded in 1868, the Centro Español is the oldest Spanish social institution in the United States.  Today, the Society continues to serve the Spanish community and provide a forum for the advancement of the art and culture of Spain.