2017 August was a no ordinary summer to Isa Ho, a Taiwanese contemporary photographer, as her solo exhibition "Not the Chelsea Hotel" held in Taiwan has put a meaningful ending note to her past 4 years' photo shooting at the Westbeth Artists Housing, a historical landmark in New York housing around 400 artists.
But gradually she found out that Westbeth is more than just a place for elderly. Not only a historic landmark at New York Manhattan, it is also one of the largest artist communities in the world, a life-long home to about 400 artists from around the world, working in different disciplines with all forms of medium. They are painters, sculptors, dancers, musicians, poets, writers, photographers, etc. who collectively have made significant contributions to shaping the contemporary art scene of New York, and introducing diversity of arts and culture to this metropolitan city.
By using digital technology, each photo in her Westbeth series is like a time capsule, intensively captures the essence of all life episodes of the senior artists in residence. Each and every photo also helps convey a very positive message - aging is nothing to be threatening as long as a creative mind prevails. Despite an aging body, the artists at Westbeth continue to have a creative and passionate soul for art creation.
Isa's work at Westbeth is so appealing that it has attracted Christopher Phillips, a former curator at ICP, and she has been engaging in talks for a possibility of exhibiting her work in New York. She has also been reached out by US publishers for turning the Westbeth series into a publication. Her dedicated effort to document this important historic site obviously resulted in positive feedback.