Born in Hawaii in 1983, Rory Padeken is a visual scholar invested in ideas revolving around themes of memory, nostalgia, identity politics, race, and theories of visuality as manifested primarily in photography and film. He was educated at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa, University of Auckland/Boston University, University of California, Berkeley (B.A. History of Art, Anthropology minor, 2006), and California College of the Arts (M.A. Visual & Critical Studies, 2009). Currently, Rory is curatorial assistant at the San Jose Museum of Art and responsible for developing thematic exhibitions from the museum’s permanent collection. Current and upcoming exhibitions he is curating include, “So, Who Do You Think You Are?,” “To Hell and Back: Sandow Birk’s Divine Comedy,” “Frank Lobdell: Wonderland,” and “Primary Colors: From Figuration to Post-Minimalism” (working title). His essay, “Korean / American Art: Nam June Paik, Yong Soon Min, and Michael Joo,” appears in Koreans in America: History, Identity, and Community, edited by Professor Grace J. Yoo and published by Cognella Academic Press.
Rory’s master’s thesis, “Collecting Chance: Snapshots of Memory in Tacita Dean’s FLOH,” explored Dean’s use of found photography and the ways in which the artist complicates and bridges the theoretical and material division between chemical and digital photography. In 2010, Rory was the Achenbach Graphic Arts Council Fellow at the Legion of Honor, Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco. His research at the Legion involved the work of Eadweard Muybridge and the conceptualization of “house and home” in photography from the late 19th Century to the present. A strong interest in the work of Gordon Matta-Clark, Sharon Lockhart, and Fiona Tan has since developed, which Rory hopes to expand upon in the near future. In addition to supporting the Achenbach Foundation for Graphic Art, Rory has interned and worked at various art institutions in Hawai`i and the San Francisco Bay Area including, the Bishop Museum, The Contemporary Museum Honolulu, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Asian Art Museum, de Young Museum, and Yerba Buena Center for the Arts. He would like to meet Tacita Dean one day.
Image #1 (Your Bright Future)
credit info: Installation view, Choi Jeong-Hwa, HappyHappy, 2009, “Your Bright Future: 12 Contemporary Artists from Korea,” LACMA
Image #2 (Exploratorium)
credit info: Exploratorium, San Francisco
Image #3 (Sharon Lockhart)
credit info: Installation view, Sharon Lockhart, Lunch Break, 2008, “Sharon Lockhart: Lunch Break,” SFMOMA
Image #4 (San Jose Museum of Art)
credit info: Installation view, “So, Who Do You Think You Are?,” San Jose Museum of Art, 2011