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Offering of Dreams


Due to the process-based nature of the Session program, this project will undergo constant modifications; the features of this page provide accruing information on the project’s developments.

March 23–April 29, 2023

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In March 2020, the artists Ayoung Yu and Nicholas Oh, who work together as AYDO, began an archive of dreams. Yearning for loved ones and communal solidarity in the wake of the pandemic, they collected dreams from different generations of immigrants from Asian-American communities. They received dreams from parents, aunts and uncles, their friends and their grandparents, students and mentors, and carefully inscribed each dream into an ever-growing pool of texts. In return for each dream, following the Korean cultural tradition of buying and exchanging dreams, the artists mailed out small hand-thrown porcelain bottles.

They anticipated that the dreams would reveal commonalities across generations of immigrants amidst shared struggles. The dreams themselves, however, were all so deeply personal—colored by unique psychic repertoires such as childhood homes, ex-lovers, pets, mythological figures–that they resisted any easy overarching classification.

The artists, therefore, position these idiosyncratic archived dreams as embodiments of individual voices that counter orientalist tropes that tend to depict Asian bodies as emotionally distant, unspecified masses with an unlimited capacity for labor or service. At Recess, AYDO hopes to expand their practice to explore a selection of dreams, including their own. Rather than literally reenacting a dream, they use ceramics, ritual objects, ceremonial clothing, and organic elements to build a new imagined world around them and posit dream-sharing as a form of community gathering.

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About the artist



AYDO (A young Yu & Nicholas Oh) is a collaborative artist duo based in New York. Through performance-based film and site-specific installation, AYDO re-imagines Korean folklore and precolonial spiritual practices to reflect personal and Asian American perspectives. They are not faithful to historical canon and transgress older traditions, regenerating them within diasporic contexts through methods of disruption and metamorphosis. Performances are filmed in spaces ranging from ritual spaces to sites of ongoing geopolitical tension, from disfigured wartime buildings and ecological sanctuaries to immersive environments constructed in the studio. They activate these spaces by distilling narratives and visual cues from their heritage and create new stories–exploring themes of race, Western imperialism, sexuality, and migration. AYDO has exhibited and performed at venues such as Cantor Art Center at Stanford University, Museum of Art and Design, Christie’s Inc, Canal Projects, Hub-Robeson Gallery at Penn State University, Elizabeth Foundation for the Arts, ChaShaMa, Artist Alliance, AHL Foundation, and Fashion Institute of Technology. AYDO was awarded artist residencies at Sculpture Space, Dongguk University, and Catwalk Institute.

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