Sergio De La Torre: Nuevo Dragon City

Sergio De La Torre: Nuevo Dragon City
June 2 – August 12, 2018
Opening Reception: June 2 from 7-10pm
Guest Curated by Maurizzio Hector Pineda

Woman looking at the viewer through glass doors with tagging upon them

Nuevo Dragon City, 2008, is the first in a series of works by artist Sergio De La Torre that explore the psyche of a seemingly invisible Chinese community living in the border city of Tijuana, Mexico. The single-channel video aims to unveil this border town’s marginalized community through the lens of migrant teenagers living in the city.

The artist places his subjects within surreal atmospheres, employing cinematic cues from Luis Buñuel’s seminal 1962 film, The Exterminating Angel (El ángel exterminador). Through his work, De La Torre captures the fears and uncertainties of being trapped – anxieties and alienation internalized by many migrant communities on both sides of the border. The work addresses the hidden histories that impact current realities of many marginalized communities, such as Santa Ana own history of erasing unwanted enclaves, notably, the Chinatown fire of 1906 during which the city eradicated a once bustling district.

The exhibition seeks to find common ground in the current political climate – an attempt to remind us of the downfall of alienating one another, and the options of uniting to create a community that fosters humanity, adaptability, connectivity, and the welcoming of individuals and cultures within ever-changing environments.

– Maurizzio Hector Pineda

ABOUT THE ARTIST

Sergio De La Torre grew up in the border cities of Tijuana/San Diego and works as an educator, filmmaker, photographer, and activist. His practice explores immigration, labor, and transnational identities. He currently lives and works in the Bay Area Mission District and is an Associate Professor and Program Director of Fine Arts at the University of San Francisco. He has been honored with grants from the NEA, The Rockefeller Foundation, Creative Capital, the Potrero Nuevo Fund, and the Creative Work Fund. He has exhibited at: SFMOMA, San Francisco, CA, The Tunisian Pavilion at the 57th Venice Biennale, Italy, The LA Biennial, The Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, CA, Arizona State University Museum of Art, Museum Contemporary Art San Diego, CA, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco, CA, Institute for Contemporary Art, San Jose, CA, MASS MoCA, North Adams, MA,

Palais des Beaux-Arts Brussels, Belgium, Centro Cultural España Buenos Aires, Argentina, Border Biennial, El Paso TX and Ciudad Juarez, México, Centro de la Imagen, México DF, Museum of Fine Arts Houston, TX, California Orange County Biennial 06.

ABOUT THE CURATOR

Maurizzio Hector Pineda is a curator from EL Salvador who currently lives and works in Santa Ana, California. His most recent curatorial post was at the Torrance Art Museum. During his tenure at the museum, he co-curated The Gilldless Age, 2016, and developed the 2017 SUR: Biennial with a focus on Cuban contemporary art for the TAM. This project was part of the Getty PST: LA/LA initiative. Mr. Pineda received his BFA degree in Interdisciplinary Studies from the San Francisco Art Institute in 2000. From 2001-2005 he was the owner and director of SWYS Gallery in Long Beach, CA, and has worked at the Santa Monica Museum of Art and for Regen Project in Beverly Hills. He has curated exhibitions for Togonon Gallery in San Francisco, was a visiting curator at The Tree House Gallery in Los Angeles, curator in residence at the NLE Curatorial Lab where he co-curated The Only Way Out Is Through (NYC) in 2014, and Curatorial Director at The Mission Cultural Center for Latino Art in San Francisco from 2009-2012.