The Whitney Biennial 2004This article was published by DC based magazine, Intellectos, in August 2004.
The Whitney Biennial
Reinventing our vision and culture of the apocalypse
Betty T. Kaos
With the stranger than fiction headlines of the current newspapers, it
is very easy to believe that we are living in the apocalypse. Today's
world is fraught with disaster, strife, conflict, greed, the breakdown
of democracy, unjust corruption of government, and all means of chaos
that even the most banal person could not fully ignore. The civil
unrest of our social climate will indeed affect the most creative of
people, the restless souls of the artists. Many of the contemporary
artists in this exhibit reflect their social awareness in
anthropological terms, whereas several other artists reflect back to a
more meditative state of being. When America is glaring with code
orange and security checkpoints searches people at all landmark
locations, a slow but mass hysteria grows, and we want to turn back to
our cave to find ou
Matthew Barney: reviewThis article was published by Chicago based magazine "100% Unnatural" started by the glam rock band The Mystechs. It was also republished in DC based magazine, Intellectos in 2003.
Matthew Barney: A self-indulgent carnival ride of post modern pop culture.
By Betty T. Kaos
Matthew Barney work is strange, colorful, and on the brink of
interesting. However the show is disappointing. The Guggenheim
presents a full retrospective for an artist who has had a relatively
short career. A seemingly large accomplishment, yet he has been
successful from the beginning. Applauded by Barbara Gladstone, he has
been delighting audiences and critics with bizarre, overly-sexual,
testosterone driven images. He has even attracted many celebrities
from the film and arts to play key historical figures and mythological
creatures in his films, such as the writer Norman Mailer in his role
as Houdini and the sculptor Richard Serra as the architect Hiram
Abiff, as well as a soundtrack set with the punk rock bands
Art in China Voice and vehicleAn art review from December 2004 published in D.C. Based, Intellectos Magazine.
Art in China: Voice and vehicle of worldwide politics.
By Betty T. Kaos
Asian contemporary art deserves much attention. The sleeping dragon, a nation of people who invented paper, gunpowder, fire works, and created the great wall; whom gave the world Buddhism, Confucianism, Taoism, and unfortunately Maoism, as well as many of the most famous human rights violations. My great grandmother was one of those women with bound feet, she died while on the road, trying to escape a marauding invasion. But her daughter lived, and although my grandmother escaped that war, she once again had to run, this time from the communist movement, bringing her young children to Burma. However, soon Burma was also no longer safe, their unstable government had collapsed. Once again my mother was forced to flee, this time to Taiwan. They chose Taiwan because her family believed in democracy and had ties to the Nationalists. My mothe
foldingunfolding origami 1999foldingunfolding origami
Betty T. Kaos 1999
I thought I could learn
by undoing the bends and creases you created,
studying the lines made onto this piece of paper,
and foldingunfolding it once again.
But it didn't come out the same,
it wasn't quite as beautiful.
Instead it looked like a crumpled piece of paper,
that eventually I smooth out
and attempt to begin again.
My mother's journey 1997
Published in NuyorAsian Anthology:
Asian American Writings About New York City
by The Asian American Writer's Workshop 1999
Also published in Tapestry, by Wheaton College 2002
My Mother's Journey
Betty T. Kao
I see her face, contorted and perplexed.
She's five years old,
trudging toward an endless unlightened road,
clutching to her mother.
On their path they will confront rocky hills,
and corrupt soldiers carrying sacks filled with stolen heirlooms.
The darkness, the coldness take no excuses.
They must go forward.
The only directional guide is the sad movement of the herd,
each with their own pitiful stories of:
proud names, families, and estates left behind.
She holds her mother's hand in a vice,
knowing that if she is lost, she will never be seen again.
The journey will not end there.
Ten years later she will leave her new home in Burma,
a land of water festivals and tranquil forests turns into
the new upheaval of homes and mass executions;
only to arrive in Taiwan alone, with n