The title for this project was borrowed from the epigraph for Howards End, a 1910 novel by E. M. Forster. In society, we often encounter opposing ideas on race, ethnicity, religion, gender, etc. and in such circumstances this term, “only connect,” reflects one’s approach in moving closer to people with values, thoughts and customs different to our own. Paradoxically, “only connect” also conveys a sense that we will never fully understand another person, even after getting to know them very well. Today’s innovations and advances in transportation and communication networks have boosted economic, cultural and personal interaction. At the same time, however, they have made our lives even more complex. In this sense, it is absolutely imperative to have mutual understanding of those with diverse backgrounds in order to be able to respond to the numerous issues that we face. Thus, although the term “only connect” comes from a novel dating all the way back to 1910, it still resonates strongly today.
The unique perspectives of each artist in relation to this concept are reflected in their work. With deep insight and rich imagination, they pose serious questions regarding how we connect with the world, tackle problems, and shape the future. In this project, the viewer is challenged to look beyond that which is visible and take a first step to move across boundaries and connect with others. With that step, they can then explore the possibilities of a world in which there is true diversity of values.