Dale Chihuly at Golden Gate Park’s deYoung Museum

Dale Chihuly is from Seattle, and as a result, his works are seen fairly often around the Pacific Northwest. To first time viewers, Chihuly’s works are striking and eye-catching… to those who have seen many of his pieces, however, the lack of diversity becomes a little stifling.

I’m in the boat as one who has seen quite a bit of Chihuly’s work, and I was subsequently a bit hesitant to discover his newest exhibit was in town at the deYoung gallery. I simply expected an extension of work that I have seen much too much of already. Not to mention the additional $5 price tag and the line you had to wait in in order to actually see the exhibit…

To my pleasant surprise, however, due to creative installation trickery and fancy lighting, the exhibit was amazing (and yes, well worth the $5). Chihuly’s glassworks made a showing, of course, but his sketches and drawings did as well. Personally I found them to be less eye-catching, but I’m sure someone enjoyed their relatively abstract and rough natures.

Neon glass pieces greet us upon our entering.

Chihuly’s “Persians” series. The work was great, but the descriptions were painful at best. To loosely sum it up, the description of these pieces touched upon how the pieces seemed foreign and unique and therefore reminded him of foreign lands… and to him, foreign lands meant things like Asia, like Persia… and as a result, these were called “Persians.” Uhhh, no. No.

A chorus of angels sings.

Exploring the relationship between cold and still, hot and flowing (like magma).

“Reeds” series. By this point I was no longer reading the inspirations, so I couldn’t tell you that part.

Two boats carrying a million glass pieces, floating on a sea of black.

“Chandeliers” series.

More from the “Chandeliers” series.

Nothing much here — just a ceiling of glass. What was really cool about this all-white room were the rainbows cast on the walls from the array of glasswork.

An assortment of odd freaks and fancies.

And more. The end.

Written by
Vee Hua 華婷婷

Vee Hua 華婷婷 (they/them) is a writer, filmmaker, and organizer with semi-nomadic tendencies. Much of their work unifies their metaphysical interests with their belief that art can positively transform the self and society. They are the Editor-in-Chief of REDEFINE, Interim Managing Editor of South Seattle Emerald, and Co-Chair of the Seattle Arts Commission. They also previously served as the Executive Director of the interdisciplinary community hub, Northwest Film Forum, where they played a key role in making the space more welcoming and accessible for diverse audiences.

Vee has two narrative short films. Searching Skies (2017) touches on Syrian refugee resettlement in the United States; with it, they helped co-organize The Seventh Art Stand, a national film and civil rights discussion series against Islamophobia. Reckless Spirits (2022) is a metaphysical, multi-lingual POC buddy comedy for a bleak new era, in anticipation of a feature-length project.

Vee is passionate about cultural space, the environment, and finding ways to covertly and overtly disrupt oppressive structures. They also regularly share observational human stories through their storytelling newsletter, RAMBLIN’ WITH VEE!, and are pursuing a Master’s in Tribal Resource and Environmental Stewardship under the Native American Studies Department at the University of Minnesota.

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Written by Vee Hua 華婷婷
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