Presented by SVA Galleries

Tissue Memory

March 23 - April 12, 2021
Black and white stipple drawing of a person with light skin and shoulder-length light hair in a t-shirt ripping a piece of paper.

Julia Lopac, "The Breaking Point of Perfectionism," 2019, pen, 40 x 30 inches

School of Visual Arts (SVA) presents “Tissue Memory,” a juried exhibition of multidisciplinary works by SVA students. Organized by SVA Galleries, the exhibition will be on view online from Tuesday, March 23, through Monday, April 12, at


The body is a repository for experience. Tissue memory refers to the theory that the elements of our bodies themselves could store memories of trauma and emotions that otherwise go unprocessed—the things that our minds are unable or unwilling to fully grasp. The artists in this exhibition use the body’s presence, absence or surrogate in the same way. From the skin’s surface to the artist’s gesture, this work examines what otherwise remains hidden from our consciousness. Longing, trauma, anger and the deeply hidden corporeality of our own bodies are revealed by tissue memory.


Artists featured in this exhibition are Annie Chen Ziyao (MFA Photography, Video and Related Media), Ryan Cosbert (BFA Fine Arts), Maho Donowaki (MFA Fine Arts), Jingyi Gao (MFA Photography, Video and Related Media), Lanyi Gao (BFA Fine Arts), Iveyology/Alena Ivey (BFA Fine Arts), Shelley Lake (MFA Art Practice), Seungheon Lee (BFA Fine Arts), Xinyi Liu (MFA Fine Arts) and Julia Lopac (BFA Illustration).