WHERE WE BEGIN — Creative Exchange Agency
Ann Arbor News 1943

WHERE WE BEGIN

Where We Begin

‘Where We Begin’ connects our community with a curated selection of our artists as an antidote to the physical isolation being experienced across the world by offering a glimpse into projects conceived during a period of deep introspection. As thought leaders and visionary makers, these artists reimagine and reframe their genres to contemplate the complex and shifting realities of this particular moment in time and its social, cultural, historical, economic or even political context.

Featured artists include botanical installation and landscape artist Lily Kwong, who offers an empowering and ecological solution to a precarious and inequitable global food system; renowned architectural photographer François Halard, who revisits a period of isolation from his youth by documenting the intimate spaces of his meticulously curated 18th-century home in Arles, France; and South African photographer Koto Bolofo, whose thematic series captured at home transform portraits and still lifes into images whose embattled histories resonate for the present and future.

Affirming the vital role of artists in responding to a vast and unpredictable world, ‘Where We Begin’ highlights the stories that shape our artists’ practices during a time that necessitates creative inspiration, engagement, and perspective, pushing the boundaries of their chosen media to make work for the current moment.

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FREEDOM GARDENS

STUDIO LILY KWONG

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Visuals Freedom Gardens
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Studio Lily Kwong Visuals
Studio Lily Kwong Visuals

“It’s time to revive gardening as a civic duty during this moment of peril and crisis. Nothing will be more valuable at this pivotal moment than self-sufficiency.”

- Studio Lily Kwong
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Visuals Freedom Gardens
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Visuals Victory Gardens
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Freedom Gardens
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Visual Victory Gardens
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LA MAISON

FRANÇOIS HALARD

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François Halard
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François Halard
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François Halard
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François Halard

“I want these images to give other people joy and also peace. When you surround yourself with beauty, it helps you go on. Beauty is medicine for the soul.”

- François Halard
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François Halard
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François Halard
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François Halard

“François and I wanted to do something beautiful and to make physical the pictures he’s been taking. But the Polaroids are also a unique record of one artist’s experience of isolation and a meditation on the artefacts – all of them connected to friends and memories – that surround him.”

- Oscar Humphries
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François Halard
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François Halard
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LOVE FOR ART

KOTO BOLOFO

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Love for Art
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Love for Art
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Love for Art
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Love for Art
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Bon Appetit

“When the lockdown was put into place, I suffered a 30 second depression. 31 seconds after, I made a self promise that I would do one image a day to keep the doctor away. I was not ready to knock! knock! on heaven’s door!”

- Koto Bolofo
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Bon Appetit
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Bon Appetit
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Remember Afrika
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Remember Afrika
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Remember Afrika
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Remember Afrika