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3AM: Time Sensitive

On View August 28, 2021 – January 8, 2021

Tephra Institute of Contemporary Art (Tephra ICA) presents 3AM: Time Sensitive, an exhibition of time-based media works by Myanmar artist collective, 3AM, guest curated by Adriel Luis. This is the first exhibition of the collective’s work in the United States. A virtual opening reception and artist talk will be held on Tuesday, August 31 at 6pm.

3AM is a pioneering performance art trio that collaborates on works that dissolve the lines between art and activism, performance, and media. Its members, Ma Ei, Ko Latt, and Yadanar Win, exhibited internationally as individual artists before becoming a collective in 2016 during a collaboration in Stockholm, Sweden. 3AM’s work responds to social conditions that are pressing in Myanmar, but that resonate throughout the world – the repression of social critique, the complexities of queer life, and the effects of globalization, to name a few. Ever since Myanmar’s military coup in February this year, internet shutdowns, public uprisings, and police violence against demonstrators and artists, the nation’s turmoils have been placed back in the global spotlight.

Time Sensitive includes three time-based media works that invite the viewer to examine the depths of global empathy and solidarity. Two of them, Civil War (2021) and With Avarice (2021) are new works completed in 2021 during the military coup period in Myanmar. Both videos capture the artists entangled in movements that teeter between cooperation and conflict. Their themes respond to a universal dilemma – how scarcity and excess mark imbalances in power and resources. Meanwhile, Still in the Present (2016) was developed in the beginning of Myanmar’s brief period of democracy and offers further insight into a society in constant transition.

About the Guest Curator

Adriel Luis is a community organizer, artist, and curator who believes in collective imagination as a pathway toward liberation. His work is focused on bridging artistic integrity and social vigilance. He is a part of the iLL-Literacy arts collective, which creates music and media to strengthen Black and Asian American coalitions; is creative director of Bombshelltoe, which works with artists to highlight marginalized communities affected by nuclear issues; and collaborates with dozens of artists and organizations through his curate and design engine, Phenomenoun. Adriel is the Curator of Digital and Emerging Practice at the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center, where he advocates for equitable practices in museums and institutions. Adriel has been a speaker at the Tate Modern, Yale University, the National Museum of African American History and Culture, and the China Academy of Fine Arts. He has a degree in human sciences from UC Davis in Community and Regional Development and a minor in Asian American Studies.

3AM: Time Sensitive will include an online viewing room, a narrated virtual tour, and a series of public programs. Tephra ICA is open Tuesday–Saturday, 11am–5pm by appointment only. Appointments are free and can be made at tephraica.org.

Virtual Opening Reception and Artist Talk: August 31, 6pm. The presentation will be followed by a Q&A. FREE and open to the public. RSVP in advance at info[at]tephraica.org for Zoom Room link and password. Sponsored by Reston Community Center.

Tephra ICA is a non-profit, non-collecting institution committed to promoting innovative contemporary art and thinking. Leading with curiosity and care, the organization is a catalyst, generator, and advocate for visual arts.

Tephra ICA is supported in part by ArtsFairfax, Reston Community Center, Virginia Commission for the Arts, and the National Endowment for the Arts.


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