In honor of the studio opening, Grab Bag Studio presents its first exhibition Grab Bag Pop Shop: Sara Chao + Michael Nannery, a two-part installation of new works by Sara Chao and Michael Nannery. For this project, Sara and Michael create each two site-specific works that communicate to Grab Bag’s effort of growing diversity and connectedness through collaboration and artistic participation.
In her installation Sari-Sari Store, Sara Chao translates the format of the ubiquitous Filipino neighborhood convenience store into the gallery space. In the Philippines, sari-sari stores are owned by one’s fellow neighbors and patronized by locals in need of a little oil, a clove of garlic, or a packet of laundry detergent. They are spaces for personal interaction, a spot to wait to catch the bus or grab a treat. Sari-Sari Store is an extension of this connective community spirit, bringing warmth from the Filipino neighborhood all the way to Long Beach, California.
Sara Chao is a Los Angeles native and third-generation American. Her art practice is based in installation, extending to collage and textile-based sculpture. Fueled by a lifelong habit of collecting paper ephemera, her work acts to memorize the texture of the everyday life, in anticipation of future nostalgia. In using eminently recognizable materials, she invites viewers to make their own connections to their daily experiences, bringing the texture of the present into focus before it passes from view.
For Breathing Together, Michael Nannery has been acquiring vessels from local artists, in which he has been growing a wide variety of houseplants. As a collection, the work is entirely modular and rearranged to fit the Grab Bag space. Breathing Together is meant to form a lounge, in which one could sit with the plants and simply enjoy their company. Michael is interested in the simultaneous affect of plants physically purifying the air alongside the positive psychological cues they provide. “In breathing together, we regenerate.”
Michael Nannery is an artist and independent curator based in Long Beach. Michael primarily seeks to share his work in increasingly diverse and varied forms. In addition to printmaking, his art practice is based on the care and examination of living systems, including plant cultivation, composting, fish keeping, and other means of regenerative production.
Photos by Kelly Hamilton, Tim Hsiung, Alex Cheseborough