The Pleasure Was All Mine

Sound by Craig Dongoski

Sonya Yong James

“Many questions arise from human universals. Human beings share the need for protection, the drive for connection, and the pleasures of touch. We are toolmaking, problem-solving animals, and social, sensory creatures. Cloth embodies all of these characteristics. The story of textiles is cumulative and shared, a human story, a tapestry woven from countless different threads. Working with textiles, found objects, and clay, I investigate themes of identity and memory in my interior and shared life. I have become intrigued by the power of the ordinary, the strong emotions that are evoked and sustained by anything as simple or as complex as a shared experience, a vivid color, a dear person seen once again, or a new landscape never seen before. Such things taken seriously, will reveal their unexpected significance and bring a sense of the extraordinary to the ordinary.

The Pleasure Was All Mine is dedicated to the small things in life often overlooked in the grand scheme of things that can shape and contribute to major events in our life. Some of the stories the objects tell are of chance encounters or represent possibilities of a completely new way of thinking or appreciation of the mundane. These sculptures bring together a narrative as I follow the trail of the self through everyday life, gather memories and traces, work with materials and fragments, and interweave loose threads before the memory or story is forgotten.”

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Sonya Yong James (b. Knoxville, Tennessee) lives and works in Atlanta, Georgia. She received a BFA from Georgia State University where she focused on printmaking and sculpture. James has exhibited nationally and internationally for the past twenty years and has been the recipient of several grants including the Artadia grant in 2019 including being a nominee for the 2023 United States Artists Fellowship award. James has also received grants for residencies at the Atlanta Contemporary and Mass MOCA. She has an upcoming research residency in Mexico City for 2024.

Her work is held in numerous collections including Art in Embassies and has been exhibited in galleries and museums such as MOCA GA, The Minnesota Museum of American Art, UAB’s Abroms-Engels Institute for the Visual Arts, and the Ogden Museum of Art in New Orleans. Sonya Yong James is represented by Whitespace Gallery, Atlanta, GA.

Craig Dongoski is a Full Professor at Georgia State University in Atlanta, Georgia USA. Dongoski’s has been exploring and articulating the mark in its most basic form (both graphically and aurally) for much of his career. The intention is that through varied interpretations of the marks that a contribution is made to the art historical dialogue within the origin of human expression. Professor Dongoski has performed and produced work each year on the island of Kefalonia, Greece since 2011. He also has a considerable body of work. Most recently a one-artist exhibition he presented The Primates NoteBook, employing his drawing-sound experiments and innovations in tandem with chimpanzees through the Language Research Center in Atlanta, Georgia. Dongoski was Invited Lecturer, Dolphinity: International Symposium on Dolphin Consciousness • Dolphin Embassy • Tenerife, Canary Islands. And in 2016 Invited Lecturer, CAIROTRONICA; International Symposium on Electronic Arts (in cooperation with The Planetary Collegium); Palace of the Arts • Cairo, Egypt. Most recently he was included in the Timeless Fragments Group Exhibition in Brindisi, Italy. And The Pulled Edition at Tong-In Gallery in Seoul, Korea. He was also selected to participate in the GATHERED Exhibition at The Museum of Contemporary Art-Georgia.

He was twice nominated for a Ford/Rockefeller Foundation Fellowship in New Media. Dongoski also has released CD’s on Hydra Head Records and Aucourant Records. In 2015 he directed an important improvisation collaboration with filmmaker Larry Clark resulting in a limited press LP entitled Drawing Through. He is represented by WhiteSpace Gallery in Atlanta, Georgia and James Gallery Pittsburgh, PA.