Become a Butterfly

Valerie Goodman, director and owner of the Valerie Goodman Gallery will present

the first U.S. showing of Yun-Mo Ahn's widely traveled exhibition "Become a

Butterfly." Initially created in collaboration with autistic Korean Children, this

installation has been expanded to include children with autism from the tri-state

area, and is paired with works by the French artist and designer Jacques Jarrige

who shares Yun-Mo Ahn's respect for the creativity of people outside the

mainstream. You are invited to a reception in the presence of Yun-Mo Ahn on

March 13th, between 6:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. at Valerie Goodman Gallery, 315 East

91st Street. The exhibition will be open to the public from March 14th to April 12th


For the past six years, the Korean artist Yun-Mo Ahn has been working with autistic

children in his home country. Having lived and studied in New York in the 1990's, he

developed a keen sense of the difficulties of communication, a challenge every foreigner

faces. At the same time, he recognized art as a powerful instrument for bridging cultural

differences and began exploring an emotionally charged pictorial language: iconic

images acquire utopian dimensions as means of instant communication. Back in Korea,

he began working with a small group of developmentally challenged children and soon

became fascinated by their colorful and sophisticated creations, which spoke of rich

interior worlds. With his first six collaborators, this passionate humanist embarked on a

walking and exhibition tour which soon surpassed his hope for the "butterfly effect"

known from physics, when a tiny flutter can have a far reaching impact. And indeed, the

phenomenon, which provided the motif for the children's art works, unfolded into a

celebrated project with more and more participants whose expressions were joined in

ever expanding art installations. By lending his artistic expertise to the children's

uninhibited expressions, Yun-Mo Ahn turns them into multi-layered, elegant

compositions. One thousand butterflies will land at our gallery, and we hope their wings

will stir up storms of excitement. We are especially pleased to announce that the

McCarton Foundation in Chelsea--one of the country's most important organizations

devoted to recognizing the abilities of children and young adults on the autism spectrum-

-has partnered with us in realizing this current and upcoming show..

We are equally honored to present pieces by our resident artist Jacques Jarrige created

collaboratively in a mental hospital in Paris where has been teaching sculpture for years.

Upon meeting in Paris, Yun Mo Ahn recognized in Jacques Jarrige ‘s work a similar

approach and shared personal enrichment; he invited him to collaborate in his “Become

A Butterfly” exhibition. As visual communicators, both artists have learned that these

conditions can be viewed in terms of a cultural and language barrier - as our show hopes

to demonstrate, art can help to overcome these obstacles.

Valerie Goodman Gallery is promoting the artists and the causes they support to create

awareness about autism and mental illness. “Become a Butterfly” is an ongoing project:

that includes workshops at the McCarton foundation, at the the Queens Museum of Art

and at the. Museum of Modern Art. The show at the Valerie Goodman gallery will be

followed by exhibitions at the 42nd Bus Terminal, the Partnership Gallery of the Queens

Museum of Art, the Art Gallery of the Rockefeller Preserve State Park in Pleasantville

NY and the Create Ability gallery at the Museum of Modern Art.

For more information on events and exhibitions please visit:






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