UP Gallery is delighted to present Dear Franklin, a solo exhibition by artist Kurt Tong. The genesis of this project unfolded when Tong stumbled upon an old chest brimming with a treasure trove of love letters, portraits, dried flowers, and a collection of Chinese and Japanese newspapers and magazines spanning the decades of the 1930s, 1940s, and 1950s. It was within these evocative relics that he commenced the intricate task of reconstructing the daily lives of the project’s central figures—two star-crossed lovers separated by the tumultuous currents of history. The narrative unfolds as we delve into the life of a young man hailing from a modest family in Canton during the last century. His heart entwined with the daughter of a Kuomintang general, their love story unfolds amidst the backdrop of a politically charged era. Franklin Lung and his fiancée Dongyu bore witness to the ravages of war, the trials of exile, and the profound impact of acculturation. Beneath the veneer of this serial-like love story, Kurt deftly weaves in the broader tapestry of the end of China’s political and social history in the first half of the 20th century. Vintage press clippings, intimate letters, artifacts, and a compelling array of photographs are thoughtfully integrated throughout the exhibition space. Visitors are warmly welcomed to immerse themselves in these captivating artifacts, providing a unique window into a bygone era of love, resilience, and the dynamic forces that shaped a nation’s destiny.
Opening: 10/28 (Sat.) 14:00 (Artist will be present at the opening)
Artist: Kurt Tong
Venue: UP Gallery