A Body of Her Own: Mitsuko Brooks, Brook Hsu, Iris Yirei Hu, Catalina Ouyang, Ilona Szwarc, Hiejin Yoo

Installation Views
Press release

Make Room is pleased announce its grand opening and the first exhibition A Body of Her Own. A Body of Her Own is a group exhibition of Mitsuko Brooks, Brook Hsu, Iris Yirei Hu, Catalina Ouyang, Ilona Szwarc, Hiejin Yoo, curated by Emilia Yin. The exhibition moves between sculpture, video, paintings, photography, and mixed media works oscillating between the layers and complexities of femininity, body, form and its many lenses and gazes. Each artist looks to their personal histories and makes their own stances in these complex conversations, complicating and implicating.


Ultimately, A Body of Her Own brings together artists from different disciplines and considerations to displace an aesthetic and conceptual enquiry of what it means to be a female at our time while reflect upon the history, and to reimagine a new order of female-oriented universe.


Mitsuko Brooks was born during snowfall in Aomori Prefecture of Japan on Misawa Air Force Base, and grew up in Delaware; Oregon; Aviano, Italy; Maryland; and New York City. She has a BFA from Cooper Union and an MFA in Painting & Drawing from UCLA. Brooks is a member of The Asian American Women Artists Association. She completed artist residencies with Queens Museum’s Set on Freedom (2016), The Wassaic Project (2014), The School of Making Thinking (2013). Brooks was awarded The Sally Van Der Lier Fellowship, the Artists’ Fellowship, Inc., The Bette Midler Scholarship, and The Resnick Grant to note a few. She has exhibited at Smack Mellon, Kunsthalle Galapagos, Brooklyn Wayfarers, Rush Arts Gallery, The San Francisco Art Institute, California College of Arts, SOMArts, The Newhouse Centre for Contemporary Art and Ferro Strouse Gallery.Brooks' artist books, zines and mail art collages are in permanent collections at Smithsonian's Archive of American Art, Artexte Information Centre, Barnard College's Library, Otis College Library, and Los Angeles Contemporary Archive. She resides in Los Angeles and New York. Brook Hsu (b. 1987) grew up in Oklahoma. Hsu received her BFA from the Kansas City Art Institute in 2010 and her MFA from Yale University, New Haven in 2016. She has exhibited nationally and internationally including Deli Gallery (NY), BBQLA (CA), Vernon Gardens (CA), Carrie Secrist Gallery (IL), Redlands University (CA), Vacant Farm (MO), Double Double Land (Toronto, Canada), and Galleri CC (Malmo, Sweden).


Catalina Ouyang has had solo and two-person exhibitions at Trestle Projects (Brooklyn, NY), PLUG Projects (Kansas City, MO), the Millitzer Gallery (St. Louis, MO) and fort gondo compound for the arts (St. Louis, MO). Group exhibitions include NARS Foundation (Brooklyn, NY), Rubber Factory (New York, NY) Gallery 400 (Chicago, IL), Field Projects (NY), Parapet Four Seasons (Los Angeles, CA). She was featured on artnet news as one of "14 Emerging Women Artists to Watch in 2017," and her work has been reviewed on Hyperallergic, artforum, and Daily Serving. Her writing has been nominated for two Pushcart Prizes. She is an MFA candidate in Sculpture at Yale University.


Iris Yirei Hu is an intergenerational storyteller and image maker. She uses painting, sound, poetry, and installation to rearrange habits of sharing time and making life. Selected solo exhibitions include: survival guide: when the Sun devours the Moon, Lenfest Center for the Arts, NY (2017); survival guide: joy, Visitor Welcome Center, Los Angeles (2017); Con/Safos with Rafa Esparza & Clockshop (2015). Her work has been featured in the Los Angeles Times, CNN, Sinovision, and KCET. She holds an MFA in Visual Art from Columbia University in the City of New York, BA from UCLA, and is a 2016 Paul & Daisy Soros New American Fellow.


Ilona Szwarc received an MFA in Photography from Yale University in New Haven, Conn., and a BFA from School of Visual Arts in New York City. She has had solo exhibitions at Foley Gallery in New York City, Claude Samuel in Paris, France, Amerika Haus in Munich, Germany, Leica Gallery in Warsaw, Poland and Maison de la Photographie in Lille, France. Her work has been shown in group shows internationally and most recently at Regen Projects in Los Angeles, Danziger Gallery in New York and at the International Festival for Photography and Fashion in Hyeres, France. Szwarc has been awarded Richard Benson Prize for Excellence in Photography (2015), Arnold Newman Prize for New Directions in Photographic Portraiture (2014), World Press Photo (2013) and most recently chosen as FOAM Talent.


Heijin Yoo (b. 1987) was born in Germany, and she currently works in Los Angeles, California. Graduated from Seoul Women’s University with a BA degree, she attended School of Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC) and finished her Post Baccalaureate study there. She is now a MFA candidate at University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). She is represented by the Fredric Snitzer Gallery in Miami, and her works were shown in Miami Art Basel in 2017. She had a two-person exhibition at Kopeikin gallery in Los Angeles, California. Selected group exhibitions include: Ghebaly Gallery (LA, CA), Cerritos College Art Gallery (Cerritos, CA) and Dalton Warehouse (LA,CA). She is also going to exhibit her works at Benefit Heart of LA (LA, CA) and UCLA New Wight Gallery (LA, CA).