Since first meeting TJINCHINA directors Daniel Ruanova and Mely Barragan in 2009, the three of us have collaborated on multiple occasions as both artists and art promoters in Tijuana and Los Angeles. In the month of August 2014, I had the honor of participating in a group show at TJINCHINA, and the chance to meet and work with 6 young artists from Tijuana who were helping with the operations of the gallery. Without knowing their individual art work, I could see that they were energetic, committed and hungry. During the after-party at a bar called Bakbuk on 6th Street (a.k.a. Flores Magon) in downtown Tijuana, Daniel, Mely and I decided it might be fun to organize an exchange exhibition which would feature the works of these 6 artists with young artists from Los Angeles. Part 1 would be held at TJINCHINA, and Part 2 would be done at JAUS, the artist-run-space that I have here in LA. Both shows would be 1 night only pop-up exhibitions. The 6 artists who would represent Tijuana was quite straightforward; the six who were working with TJINCHINA. The artists I would choose from Los Angeles was a bit more complicated, as I don’t have a regular team besides my colleague Chris Tallon, and my domestic partner Aska Irie who are both more seasoned artists. I didn’t think they would fit conceptually with the 6 from Tijuana. So, I went down a list of about a dozen or so former students who have helped me out at the gallery at one point or another. The parameter I chose to narrow down the list was that they be current students or recent graduates from an undergraduate university program (no MFA’s), that they make respectable work, that they have a good rapport with each other, and that they be available and willing. As the TJ group was a mix of fine artists, designers and filmmakers, I also picked a group of artists with somewhat parallel profiles. The initial group to exhibit in Tijuana from Tijuana included Mariel Abarca, Spel, Paula Flores, Elsoldelrac, Joey Muñoz, and T.P. Gilbert. The group from L.A. consisted of Nathan War-
ner, Elyse Reardon-Jung, Randall Foster, Eric Vrymoed and Dasha Orlova. Lena Wolek from LA was later joined the team for the JAUS exhibit. Daniel and Mely made a point of not interfering with the process, and had the team of 11 artists build the TJ show from the ground up. I think I meddled a little bit more. Regardless, the team did all the heavy lifting and thinking themselves, they named the group Boiling Process, threw themselves in a pot, turned on the heat, and stirred gently. ‘ The first of these exhibits took place at TJINCHINA last November 2014, and the second exhibition at JAUS LA happened in February 2015. As this was a bit of a science experiment for Daniel, Mely and I, I don’t think any of us were 100% certain how it would all turn out. Frankly, and I believe I can speak for the three of us when I say this, but the Boiling Process shows at TJINCHINA and at JAUS were well beyond our expectations. The event and entire process proved to be a genuinely fruitful and gratifying experience that has fostered a meaningful bond between and among those involved, generating a two city and cross border dialogue outside of the more official channels of distribution. The results were so formidable that the Boiling Process team has since been invited to do a third installment at the legendary Mexicali Rose in May 2015 with Aaron Dadacay and Maria Villote from Alta California and L.Fructuo from Baja California added to Mexicali mix. Members of the TJ team also participated in the first Joshua Treenial in June 2015. Independent curator, and Joshua Treenial director KJ Baysa invited the group to participate after having seen the exhibition at JAUS. Needless to say, it’s been quite exciting to watch these artists work together, and expand their horizons. I personally am looking very much forward to see what the future has in store for them as individual artists and as a group.
JAUS director (L.A.)