Rising Sun Exhibition Program

Artist Saya Woolfalk's Center for Experimental Ethnography Class Displays in Museum Rotunda

Event Information
The Rotunda
Historic Landmark Building
eight people smile in museum gallery six students and two teachers
University of Pennsylvania students worked over one semester to present work made in response to prompts from Saya Woolfalk’s class “We Emerge at the Sunset of your Ideology” at the Center For Experimental Ethnography. The class took students, a mix of art majors and others, through the process of creating a public-facing artwork made in response to the ideas explored in Saya Woolfalk’s commissioned multimedia work for the exhibition Rising Sun: Artists in an Uncertain America of the same name.  
Woolfalk’s practice takes seriously the idea that ideological and symbolic systems can be re-imagined and activated through collaboration, imaginative play and masquerade. She blends fiction and fact, and the results of collaboration are captured and presented in large scale polychromatic multimedia installations. She uses these science-fiction based projects to undermine stable conceptions of identity and examine how hybrid identities emerge and evolve through biological, cultural and technological contact.
Woolfalk produces immersive, interactive experiences out of interdisciplinary collaboration (science, art, dance, emerging technology, and music) that try to unhinge clear categories. In this class, she invited the students to help co-create these new possibilities with her. Over the course of the semester, students worked together with Saya, from conception to completion, to create a series of activations to be staged in the installation at PAFA.
Artists and works include:
Min Baek, Rainbow Field
Rain Gideon, mourning stones
Ankita Reddy, Diasporic Contortions
Jiachen Sun and Solomon Guo, Kingdom of Night
Ze Ren Li, Discontinuous Continuity
Yao Wang, Family Portrait
Image: Class with Saya Woolfalk's We Emerge at the Sunset of Your Ideology, 2022, Multimedia installation, 4 figures: glass and digital collage vinyl mural, 214 in. x 145 in. each. 2 single-channel color videos, infinite loop with sound. Commissioned by PAFA for Rising Sun: Artists in an Uncertain America, courtesy Leslie Tonkonow Artworks + Projects