Special Events



Governors Island
June 1st — August 11th, 2019

A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step


Chinese proverb

The West Harlem Art Fund feels privileged to be selected by the Trust for Governors Island, to present special programs and art exhibitions in Nolan Park for the general public. Our organization has been exploring human migration for the past three years and how people eventually came to the Americas.

As people continued spreading across Eurasia, glacier ice melted and sea levels dropped causing the Bering Straits (which connects Siberia to Alaska) to be seen and then crossed. People blended and inter-married for thousands of years. The Native Americans that we know today came from that dynamic yet, many Americans are not familiar with the historic cultures of these Native people.

Their ancestors came from Mongolia, Central Asia, and the Far East. The exhibition TRACES is a collaborative partnership between the West Harlem Art Fund, the Eli Klein Gallery located in the West Village, the Aicon Contemporary Gallery located in the East Village/SoHo area and the Throckmorton Fine Art Gallery in midtown. Together we share the ghosts of the past blended with contemporary Asian art in a historic house on Governors Island.

Artists participating in this show include — Zhong Biao, GR Iranna, Rajan Krishnan, Jamini Roy, Miao Xiaochun, Geng Xue and Ying Zhu












The West Harlem Art Fund presents Kiran Rajagopolan to perform ILE AYE | ELĀVATI in dedication to Orisha Oko & Śrī on Governors Island at their new satellite location NP/10 (Nolan Park/Building 10B) at 2 pm on Saturday, July 6th and August 3rd

Ile aye in the Yoruba language and elāvati in Sanskrit refers to the concept of Earth as mother and vessel for the creation, sustenance, dissolution, and transformation of life. Bounded yet boundless, the element of earth and its cultivation through agriculture has birthed civilizations and fed humanity for millennia. In this solo piece, the deities Orisha Oko and Śrī are invoked and worshipped as manifestations of wealth, prosperity, and abundance through the farming and harvesting of yams and rice – the staple crops of West Africa and Asia.

This dance work will be performed near the foam installation created by Chinese artist Ying Zhu. Her work is apart of the TRACES exhibition. This dance is also in response to the pastoral themes reflected in the other South and Central Asian works featured in the TRACES exhibition. In addition to the Balinese-Hindu goddess śrī, other pan-Asian deities to be featured include Tieguanyin (Chinese Buddhist deity associated with tea), Daikokuten (Japanese Buddhist deity associated with rice and agricultural wealth), and Enten (Sumerian deity known as the guardian of vegetation and farming).

Concept, Choreography, & Performance:  Kiran Rajagopalan
Duration:  15-25 Minutes
Photos:  Kamal Badhey



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