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Isa Ho Returns to Westbeth to Showcase Her Decade-Long Project from May 5-26

  • Date:2023-04-24

“Isa Ho: Resonance – Westbeth Project,” running from May 5-26, will showcase Isa Ho’s decade-long project through a selection of works ranging from 2013 to the present. The exhibition includes photos, videos, and documentaries, as well as a new NFT installation created in collaboration with artist Zhao-Hua Chen. In addition, the exhibition will feature portraits of the artists in Westbeth Artists Housing alongside their works.

In 2013, Isa Ho, a Taiwanese digital and contemporary photographer, moved into Westbeth Artists Housing after receiving a New York Fellowship from the Asian Cultural Council. Inspired by the Westbeth residents’ attitude toward creative work and their composure in the face of life's ups and downs, Ho decided to begin the Westbeth Project, photographing the building's spaces, taking portraits of artists in their apartment environments, and making audio-visual records of interviews. Ho said that “This exhibition embodies my memories, which I share with the artists. I captured the essence of these beautiful and powerful people in my own way.”

Moreover, Ho added that it is especially thrilling to be able to bring this exhibition back to where it was born. “After the long three years of the pandemic, being able to return to Westbeth and meet the artists was a deeply emotional experience, with many artists having passed away. The sadness and longing had been reflected upon for a long time. Perhaps I will never see many of them again, but their works and stories continue to be passed down, still influencing the world. This may be the value of life and art.” 

Westbeth Artists Housing was established in cooperation with the National Endowment for the Arts and the J.M. Kaplan Fund, which transformed the 13 buildings of Bell Labs into an artists' residence. Since 1970, Westbeth has provided artists with spaces to live and establish studios for life at preferential rates. This has made it a home for actors, writers, directors, painters, dancers, musicians, and other artists who have had a profound impact on New York's cultural life. Residents have included photographer Diane Arbus, stage actor David Greenspan, dancer Merce Cunningham, video art pioneer Nam June Paik, and painter Robert De Niro Sr.; movie star Vin Diesel also spent his childhood there.

However, Ho took a different approach by embracing many of the quieter residents in Westbeth Artists Housing. She delved deep into the lives of those on both sides of the long hallways and brought their stories into the light of day. Huichun Chang, director of the Taipei Cultural Center in New York, noted that the exhibition is more than just a summary of Ho’s photography project and interview records. It is also a demonstration of Taiwanese artists’ concern for humanity and their desire to protect and preserve history beyond borders. 

This exhibition is made possible by the Taipei Cultural Center in New York and Taiwan's Ministry of Culture. 

For more information, please visit the Westbeth Gallery website:

Isa Ho: Resonance - Westbeth Project    

With Zhao-Hua Chen, Nan Tandy, Pat Lasch, Vinod Dave, and Artists in Westbeth

May 5-26, 2023

Opening Reception: May 5, 6-9 pm

Talk by Christopher Phillips (NYU instructor and former curator of the International Center of Photography): May 11, 6-7 pm

Gallery Hours: Wednesday-Sunday each week, 1-6 pm

About Isa Ho

Isa Ho’s themes are strongly influenced by her previous experience in oil painting, and her photographic works challenge the documentary attributes of photography while adding a special flair for storytelling. The artist has developed a distinct discourse of photography that reveals the conflict between the value of individual and society, which causes a sense of confusion by employing directorial photography and digital synthesis to constantly reconstruct and justify the so-called realities.