The central concept for this exhibition of contemporary artworks will be an ancient parable telling of six blind men who encounter a large elephant. According to the parable, each man feels a different part on the elephant and defines what they are encountering based on their individual perspectives. One blind man feels the elephant’s trunk and concludes it is bamboo. Another man touches the elephant’s ear and believes it to be a fan. A third man feels the elephant’s leg and decides it is a pillar. The remaining three men feel other distinct parts of the elephant and develop alternative ideas as to what it is they are encountering. The underlying message of this parable is the diversity of interpretation and how respective interpretations are often false because they are based on synecdochical information. The story itself has several different iterations traversing various cultures and religions, including Buddhism, Hinduism, Sufism and Jainism.
The idea for this exhibition began last year after Wujcik and Wang partnered to produce new paintings for an unrelated group project at Polk Museum of Art titled Visual Unity 2, which paired artists to co-produce new art works for exhibition. While collaborating on this project, their individual interests in the other’s national identity became apparent. Their two collaborative paintings and each of their individual pieces were fluent and woven into their cross cultural grounding. For Invisible Elephant, Wujcik and Wang will work individually to produce new works based on their different perspectives in relation to the other’s cultural background.