Saya Woolfalk: From Bones We Rise, The Empathics

Saya Woolfalk: From Bones We Rise, The Empathics

Saya Woolfalk: From Bones We Rise, The Empathics

On view from February 17 through May 1, 2021.  

Saya Woolfalk is a New York-based artist who created a complex, futuristic utopian culture and society of an interspecies female race called The Empathics. Their mythology and story of origins began with the discovery of chimeric bones that triggered them to metamorphose into a plant, animal, and human hybrid creature. In modern Empathic society, anyone may elect to undergo the experience of interspecies hybridization, thus choosing to become an Empathic and a socially evolved being.

The world of the Empathics emerged from the artist's investigations and interest in anthropology, science fiction, folklore, mythology, and Afrofuturism. Drawing upon her own experience as a Black, Asian, and white American she explores ideation of cultural hybridity as a pathway toward an equitable society. Woolfalk’s vision of social evolution is attainable by adopting a culture that is in a continuous state of transformation and growth. Utilizing the tradition of folkloric storytelling, Woolfalk creates narratives that manifest these aspirations.

Installation photography by Jack Ramsdale courtesy of Rowan University Art Gallery.