The dynamic work of sculptor Gaylord Ho is instantly recognizable. Emotion oozes from the figures, as they throw their energy into dancerly poses. His female figures twist and twirl, animated and vital. Born in Taiwan, the 66-year-old artist has a fascinating personal history. Growing up as the son of low income farmers, Ho was expected to balance his studies while helping on the rice farm.
Iraqi Kurdish photographer Jamal Penjweny’s portrait series I Wish reveals the unfulfilled childhood dreams of rural Middle Eastern residents. Each person in the series holds up a picture of a famed athlete engaging in their mastered activity, showcasing a desired level of sports stardom. Penjweny’s subjects, however, have not had the opportunity to achieve their ambitious, athletic goals due to various reasons.
From a successful tennis player and basketball star to a celebrated martial artist and decorated Olympic athletes, each image that the people in Penjweny’s portraits display represent a wish to become something greater. Unfortunately, all were met with setbacks in the form of physical injury or poverty.
A one-legged man, standing on crutches, holds up a photo of renowned soccer player Diego Maradona while another man at work, selling gasoline off a donkey carriage, grips onto a photo of a Ferrari race car driver. Each case is a tale of unattained dreams. Penjweny says, “Life is not like animation, you cannot paint anything you want. I made this project to give one moment when dreams can become reality, so each person can act out their dream even if they cannot fulfill it in real life.”