UCR ARTS: California Museum of Photography

“There is another world, but it is in this one,” said Surrealist poet Paul Éluard. In this exhibition, artists look to the future, imagining how we move forward from the tumultuous events of the past year. [read more]

  1. Sapira Cheuk
  2. Mikael Owunna
  3. Jill Miller
  4. Katrina Lillian Sorrentino
  5. Bootsy Holler
  6. Baldomero Robles Menendez 
  7. Kate Warren
  8. Stefano Morrone

  1. Kiliii Yüyan
  2. Amy Regalia
  3. John Divola
  4. Jean-Baptiste Maitre
  5. Julia Schlosser
  6. Gaby Lobato

  1. Sara Jane Boyers
  2. Jody Zellen
  3. Evy Jokhova
  4. Ines Oliveira e Silva
  5. Ens/centrado Collective and Gabriela Elena Suárez
  6. Lewis deSoto

  1. Evelyn Corte Espinosa
  2. Fernando Velazquez
  3. Qianwen Hu
  4. Lilli Waters
  5. Gionatan Tecle
  6. Karl Baden

  1. Ben Grosser
  2. United Catalysts (Kim Garrison and Steve Radosevich)
  3. Darryl Curran
  4. Deanne Sokolin
  5. Sandra Klein
  6. Wayne Swanson

  1. Tyler Stallings
  2. Molly Peters
  3. João Ferro Martins
  4. Tony Fouhse
  5. Mark Indig

  1. Peter Wu+/EPOCH Gallery
  2. Jeff Frost
  3. Sara & André
  4. Andrew K. Thompson
  5. Lois Notebaart
  6. Nadezda Nikolova-Kratzer
  7. Caity Fares
  8. Karen Constine
  9. Aaron Giesel
  10. Bill Green

  1. antoine williams
  2. Stephanie Syjuco, Jason Lazarus, and Siebren Versteeg
  3. Mark Holley
  4. Cambria Kelley
  5. Sheila Pinkel
  6. Sergio Ximenez
  7. Karchi Perlmann
  8. Simon Penny and Evan Stanfield


Art in the Plague Year is an online exhibition organized by UCR ARTS: California Museum of Photography and curated by Douglas McCulloh, Nikolay Maslov, and Rita Sobreiro Souther. UCR ARTS’s programs are supported by UCR College of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences, the City of Riverside, Altura Credit Union, and Anheuser-Busch.
All works in this exhibition are reproduced with permission of the artists/copyright holders. Works (images, video, audio or other content) must not be used or reproduced for any purposes other than fair use without prior consent of the artists.
© UC Regents 2020

Kiliii Yüyan

(b. 1979, Maryland. Lives in Seattle; works across circumpolar Arctic)

Photographs from the in-progress project Thin Places

In 2020, states photographer Kiliii Yüyan, the natural world rose up to assert itself. The planet witnessed massive wildfires, political unrest buoyed by the loss of resource-extraction jobs, and, of course, the viral pandemic that swept out of the urban-wildland interface in China. Over the din, however, the spirits have been speaking. Yüyan has always heard them the clearest in wild places, but this year they have been speaking in Covid-quieted cities as well.

Yüyan writes: “There are some nights that will always live in memory; burning, glowing and blinking. It’s the embrace of the fireflies. In the 360˚ space around my body float a thousand miniature green-yellow lanterns, blazing long enough to be seen, but gone so quick to escape my cupped hands.

It’s deeply embedded in me to see the fireflies as spirit beings here. The most famous of my Nanai (Siberian Native) ancestors, Dersu Usala, referred to the wild creatures as ‘men in other shirts’. My Chinese forebears also meditated on the spirits in the land, through the wisdom of the Tao Te Ching. For animistic peoples, the world is inhabited by spirits, which only reveal themselves in particular circumstances.

I suppose that’s why, even as I walk through a world largely shaped by religion or science, I pause when I come across a thin place. I can’t help but feel it, to be confused by it, to be transformed – ever so subtly– by it. It’s sometimes full of grandeur and other times mundane. Encountering a thin place can be unpredictable, as when I’m walking across the tundra and the aurora borealis flares overhead. Many northern communities speak of communing with their ancestors in the northern lights.

The thin places are waypoints in my personal songline. I seek them out because they guide my way home, help me understand where I come from. I may be separated from my ancestral communities by history and hostile borders, but sometimes my ancestors are right there in front of me, blazing in the night.”